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Thinking Like CRAP

Clarity – Relevance – Accuracy – Precision

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Thinking like CRAP – the 4-step filtering process to run every thought through when making any and all decisions.

Clarity – To get crystal clear on the exact issue at hand, start by removing anything NOT relevant

Relevance – The Golf example: Is the bunker or water obstacle relevant to where you are hitting the ball? No, the Pin is the only thing relevant, so clear the board of the bunkers, the water obstacles, the rough areas, etc. FOCUS only on what is relevant.

Accuracy – Be accurate in what the obstacles are – i.e. the distance to the Pin (185 yards is different than 200 yards), the wind, which way the ball will roll upon landing on the green.

Precision – Be precise and specific in the language of your thoughts.  “I always slice the ball”  – the word “always” is neither accurate nor precise. Instead, “I have tendency to slice the ball when my focus on the fundamentals of my swing is directed to the bunkers.”

With daily practice, thinking like CRAP becomes natural and fluid and orders your thoughts, emotions, and attitude to help you grab the best 126 bits/second of information for action.

Boo Yah!

Mirror, Mirror…

Don’t Mistake Bringing Clarity For Being Confrontational

Confrontational

As a Critical Thinking and Mental Toughness Consultant, I have been accused of being confrontational, nothing could be farther from being accurate. Often, bringing clarity, by offering a path to objective reality, is mistaken for being confrontational. In my role as a consultant, I offer a question or a series of questions for the client(s) to ask themselves. I don’t ask the questions to them, I offer them questions to ask themselves. And there is no right or wrong answer, no accusations, and no moral judgments attached.

In Mental Toughness we strictly judge results, e.g. Ask yourself:

Is my attitude helping me or hurting me?
Is not going to the doctor for a checkup helping me or hurting me?
Am I deluding myself in any area of my life? (Health, Career, Relationships, Finances, etc.)

Many times over, I have had clients react to the clarity they hired me to bring, by lashing out, “You should be nurturing and not so confrontational. We didn’t have these problems until you came here.”

As my wife’s sweet Southern Belle Grandmother would say, “Bless their darlin’ hearts.” That’s akin to going to the doctor for a physical and being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and blaming the physician, “I didn’t have Diabetes before I came to you!”

I can remember sitting in a series of meetings with a guy who said at least 6 times that he had twenty CEO’s lined up to present a project he was working on. Finally, after two months of these claims, someone asked him who they were, could he name them, or at least the companies. “Twenty” CEOs became “two” CEOs, and he immediately began complaining that folks were being confrontational.

Like the Queen in the fairy tale “Snow White”, no one likes to take an honest look in the mirror and have it point out anything unflattering, myself included. However, the momentary sting of objective reality has become something I crave, for without it, no problem can be solved –
Not in my health (not eating right or excising and then avoiding the doctor’s diagnosis doesn’t mean I’m healthy),

Not in my business (just because a customer says their word is their bond doesn’t mean I don’t get it in writing),

Not in my marriage (not putting my spouse first, like I affirmed in my marriage vows, can be spun anyway I want… but why should I think that approach would work? Divorce stats answer that question. And oh, by the way, not getting married and avoiding the vows, is like avoiding the doctor, the “divorce” still hurts, and Type II Diabetes can still kill you),

Not in my relationship with my kids (buying them stuff but not keeping my word and being there for them isn’t creating trust),

Not in my finances (still having available credit on my Visa to spend is not being prosperous).

Asking for clear, relevant, accurate and precise information isn’t being confrontational, it is critical thinking, it is objective reality, it is the basis and foundation of wise decisions that bring worthy and valuable results.

The mirror ain’t wrong, so don’t blame anyone else for what you see staring back at you. Oh, an avoiding the mirror, like the doctor, isn’t going to make you not have what you don’t want to see.

Boo Yah!

What’s Your Target?

Identify the target first

identify your target

Many times when I’m walking clients through the introspective process of gaining clarity, it’s like pulling teeth to get them to tell me what it is that they really want, (i.e. what their target is). It’s exponentially worse with corporate clients, and the as the size of the organization increases, so does the seeming difficulty in identifying a specific target.

Ask yourself this, “What do I really want (in life, in relationships, in business, etc.)? What does it look like? What about in 5 years? What do I want it to look like?”

Inevitably, the answers are centered on what the client doesn’t want – We don’t want to lose market share, we don’t want to do worse this year than last year, we don’t want to invest in more employees because of the uncertainty of the economy, we don’t want more problems, and on it goes.

A large part of what we do, is to teach business pros to use the same thinking tools that snipers utilize. Imagine being a tag-along on a mission with a sniper, perched high above a road through a mountain pass.
“Hey, what’s your target?” you ask.
“Well …hmmmm, see that big rock over there?”
“Yeah.”
“That’s not the target. And that tree, over there? That’s not the target either. Neither is that mountain in the distance, and it’s not that little enclave of shacks to the south, either.”
Meanwhile, the convoy of Taliban fighters, on their way to the Spring Offensive, drives straight down the mountain pass road, right under your noses. Ridiculous? Exactly!
For many of us, targets drive right under our noses, unnoticed, because we are too busy pointing out everything that is NOT a target. Focus on what you really want, paint that picture in great detail in your mind’s eye, and then write it down. Clearly identify your target – then deploy to the sniper’s perch. Going on the mission before clearly defining that mission is like trying to eat a soup sandwich.

 

Boo Yah!