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In our last +1, we spent some more time withTrevor Moawad and explored some more wisdom from his great book,It Takes What It Takes.
As you may recall, we chatted about neutral thinking.
As Trevor says:“Nomatter where I work, the same truth keeps emerging. Neutral thinking is the key to unlocking a set of behaviors that can turn also-rans into champions and champions into legends.”
Today I want to bring that wisdom to life with a little personal example from the Johnson Ranch here outside Austin.
As I was reading the book, I took a break and explained this idea to Emerson.
Here’s the example I used: Our chickens. And their poop.
Quick context: As we’ve discussed, we just moved to the country. We got some chickens because we thought they’d be awesome. They are. The kids love them, etc.
Those gals (and guy) sure know how to poop! And, they seem toespecially love to do their work under our beautiful back patio where I often meditate in the morning as the sun’s rising.
Let’s just say that the meditation scene is slightly less idyllic with the chicken poop wafting up. (Hah.)
Back to the book.
I told Emerson that the guy who wrote the book had a dad who was really into all this stuff and taught him a bunch when he was a kid. I smiled and rubbed his awesome little head as I imagined what HE might have to say in a few decades.
Then we talked about the difference between negative thinking, positive thinking and neutral thinking.
I gave him an example of my own negative thinking as it related to those chickens and their poop. (Note: That’salways one of the best ways to deliver a message. Start with our own shortcomings—don’t start with someone else’s!)
My negative thinking went something like this:“Thosechickens!!! Their poop STINKS!! Why do they need to hang out under the porch and then poop where they hang out? I think we might want to find them a new home.”
(Hemight have heard me say something along those lines more than once in my less-enlightened moments, so the example was quickly understood. lol)
Then I told him that the “positive” thinking would go something like this:“It’snot so bad and the chickens are so great.”
He immediately knew thatthat simply wasn’t honest and true and wouldn’t be the optimal approach.
Then I told him that neither of those approaches was as effective as NEUTRAL thinking.
Neutral thinking would go something like this:“Thechickens are pooping under the patio. It stinks. The kids love them and we need a better solution. So, let’s limit their access to that location and figure out a poop control protocol. Next step: Order some chicken wire for the bottom of the patio and install it.”
<- Boom. Done.
Emerson got it immediately.
And, he still has his chickens.
Got any chicken poop in your life?
If you feel so inspired, let’s run it through a quick analysis.
What’s thenegativethinking you might be running on it?
How about thepositivethinking?
And what about theneutralthinking?
All of which leads us back to Trevor’s dad. You know what he taught him as a kid?