Lesson #43 – Doing Things Differently

–Leaders make use of psychological trigger devices

One of the simplest and yet most powerful tools for change that I’ve ever come across is called a psychological trigger device.

A psychological trigger device is a fancy term for anything that triggers you into a different way of thinking, feeling, or behaving. It gets you off being on automatic.

Did you ever have a song you associated with a particular person? Years later, even if you weren’t in that relationship anymore, you hear that song and it triggers all kinds of feelings. That song was a trigger device.

In our Personal Mastery Seminars, we start every session with the same song.

It helps the participants be seated on time. After the seminar is over, if they hear that song, it triggers all the memories of the seminar even to the point of making them feel like they should get a chair and be seated!

We encourage our students to write concepts like the 3R’s (Resentment-Resistance-Revenge) on a piece of paper and put it around a ketchup bottle in the refrigerator. Then, when they’re doing a mundane activity–like opening the refrigerator–that triggers them to think about the concept.

Remembering to think about a concept when we are in our normal routine is the hardest part. I probably have 25 eagles of all types in my house. I have porcelain eagles, crystal eagles, and wooden eagles, even eagle cuff links.

Eagles have vision. They can spot a dime from one-quarter of a mile away. So, when I see an eagle it triggers me to think long term about my life and my company, versus what is happening this year.

You can have negative triggers in your life as well as positive triggers. I’ve seen people who have recently been divorced wear their wedding ring on a different finger. I recommend they think about what it is triggering their subconscious to think about. If it’s reminding them they are a failure at relationships, then it is a negative trigger and they should get rid of it.

Your clothes will trigger feelings and thoughts. Look in your closet. What do you hear various pieces of clothing saying to you? Your car is a trigger, too. What does it tell you?

Leaders take control of their environment by putting positive triggers around them and removing any negative triggers.

Trigger devices are anything that triggers you to feel differently than you do in the moment.
Use the triggers to help you get what you want.

Action Step #1

List three concepts you want to remind yourself of.
Now, write out a statement or go buy something that represents those three concepts and put them all around your car and house.

Action Step #2

Walk around your house. Look in your closet and garage. Look at your car. Look around your desk at work.

Make an assessment of what things are positive and negative triggers. Remove the negative triggers wherever possible.

An Example
There was a time in my life when I recognized that I was avoiding the uncomfortable and more difficult things I knew I had to do. It made the day drag by as I dreaded doing certain things. I knew if I would just knock the hard tasks out first, my day would have more energy and creativity.
I took a regular sheet of paper and wrote in big, bold letters: GUOYAAGDI.
I taped it to the back of my front door so it was the last thing I saw before going to work. I would sometimes shout it like a cheer as I went out the door and got into my car.
It stood for, “Get Up Off Your Ass And Go Do It.” It was a great trigger device to get me to tackle the tough things first.
Later, I had a brass plaque of GUOYAAGDI made for my desk and it sits there today.

“Daring ideas are like chessmen moving forward. They may be beaten, but they may start winning the game.”

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