Everything has changed. You must ignore the old rules.

So many times in the last couple of weeks, I've been hearing stories which end up with people saying: "The old rules, the old way of doing things no longer work!"

And this is just in the areas of property investment, finances, marketing and advertising.

How relevant is this to seeking employment, trying to grow your business or even communicating with your family?

It appears that maintaining an open mind is one of the paramount skills of our times.

And maintaining it in the face of mainstream media material shrieking doom and gloom, in the face of the fear and panic that this creates with the people who believe and trust this media and in the face of having to deal with people's attitudes and reactions to all this fear and panic.

I have spoken before of how fear steals away your capacity for maintaining an open mind.

You will have also heard from these posts how Denial is the first symptom of stress (What do you mean - Me? Stressed?!!!) .....and how when you are in denial, you are separating yourself from directly interacting with reality.

So, it's a tough old time to maintain that open mind!

Here's a couple of things to help you do just that in these times:
  1. Stop listening to the mainstream media - get updated by reading blogs from people you trust - Industry commentators abound and there are plenty of reporters in mainstream media (MM) who have blogs where they say what they can't say in the MM.
  2. Loosen up around being in denial - admit it - you probably are in denial most days - make light of it - earn your open mind like the alcoholics in AA: "Hi, my name is Mike Kennedy and I'm in Denial" as soon as you say this, you have at least half an hour of clear open mind!
  3. Hang out with positive and interesting people - hey that sounds like a great idea anyway - how come you are hanging out with so many negative and boring people anyway?
  4. Support people who challenge the status quo with open minded and thoughtful words, written and spoken. Acknowledge them. Encourage them. Email them. Tell them you don't do gloom either!

The old order and the old ways of doing things are not working anymore.

There are two types of people in the world right now in this time of change:

- the people who embrace change and dance with it, learning new ways of working it. From a coach's point of view, the businesses and the people who are driving change in their lives are doing really well these days.

- the people who resist change, who are angry about change and who see no possibility for them in a changed environment. These people are facing changes from a stationary position and are getting hit from unexpected directions, being forced to change. Things don't look so good here.

About 12 years ago I was hired as a "Stress Management" trainer for a company who was shedding large numbers of staff who had grown up in the organisation, expecting a "Job for Life".

I never will forget the four men from that organisation, all given their notice to quit on the Friday, who all never had the courage to tell their wives and family that they had lost their job, who got up on Monday, made their lunch, got dressed and went off to work....to sit in the park on a bench, all day, just down the road from their work. I was told on the Thursday to go and talk with these guys and help them move through their denial.

What it took, to approach these men in denial, was hard for me. Each one of them looked fine. But as I talked with them, each one started to feel what they were feeling, they got on the roller coaster, got angry, got scared, got confused, started to cry, got angry.....

They all finally agreed to go home and tell their wives. They all thanked me. But this is what happens to all of us when the old order crumbles and that has been our only reality. You are a stationary object in a moving universe.

When you are chasing your goals, you are embracing change - you have a totally different relationship with change. You are a object in motion and you tend to flow with change instead of colliding with it.

....sometimes, you just have to ignore the old rules, if you want to move ahead in life.

Email Mike...

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