I’ve once used a psychological test to determine the personality and the family situation of teenagers through drawing of a person, a house and a tree. By just letting them draw without any further instructions, except to add in as much detail as possible, and not letting the lack of any drawing talent deter them from drawing, these people just drew.
I had a book that I borrowed from the library that analysed the personalities of them. Some of them were vain and self-centred, or some of them had a dominant parental personality, or some face family problems. All these were easily shown on the drawings. If there is violence in the family, it is quite easy to see from the shape of the tree. It could also tell me whether they have any plans in the future or they are thinking of taking a break.
One of the analyses focuses on garages. The larger the garage is, the more freedom the teenagers want. The garage is a place for cars, and cars symbolise freedom or a means of escape. How does your garage look like in real life, if you have one? Some people simply have concrete flooring. However, the garage is a place where you park your car, and how it looks may affect how you feel.
There are many types of flooring for the garage available. You can choose to have designs similar to a chess board. What’s important is the grip. You don’t want your car to slide. Some of the floor tiles can be interlocking, so you can simply just lock them together to form a pattern. Or you can have epoxy flooring, where a coat is applied over the concrete and it can last for years. Currently, I see some older places with cracked tiles. It’s time to get a change. My friend’s place has nice floor tiles that goes with the entire design. The only problem is I can never park my car inside because there is no space for me.
When you can take care of your own garage floors, perhaps you are better at taking care of your own psychological needs. Is it time for you to look into your own psychological needs?
Many of us live in a world where we don’t have much time to think and we stand to lose our own identity. While companies talk about profits and value, people don’t get passionate or fired about that. What they are passionate about are their family, children and perhaps their own community.
Patrick Dixon asked the audience whether they have done something for free in the last 2 years. Perhaps it was to help out in a small charity or community doing their accounts, or help out at their children’s school in a puppet play or something. Many of them put their hands up.
Why is it they are able to do it without being paid to do it? It is the passion inside them that drives them to do something to help others. Sometimes, we may be so bogged down by work. Work alone does not define us. Without motivation in our own lives, we cannot give much to others. By helping others, this sense of fulfilment can propels us to achieve better things in the world.
By understanding what drives people, then we can cater better to their needs. If you are a teacher, you need to understand your students need to feel accepted by their peers and yet they want to be unique. If, as a teacher, you are able to make their lives better, and connect people, they will respond better.
If you are in sales, you need to know how your product can make your customers’ lives better. Does it save them time? Does it improve their quality of life? Or does it feels a particular need? How does this product help them connect to the rest of the world. For example, if you are selling a car, then obviously the car will help them go to work easily, comfortably and quickly. They can bring their children to places that would be very difficult by public transport. You can make the world come alive for their children. Or it could bring you a certain kind of prestige, which makes you have something in common with someone else in another part of the world.
By being able to meet the needs and wants of people, you are able to succeed better.
I borrowed a DVD today after a gym workout, and it was Just My Luck. It was about Lindsay Lohan having great luck in everything she did. The moment she stepped out of her building lobby, the rain stopped and the cab stopped right for her. She managed to get into an empty lift and get picked up by a rich man’s son. Next, she even got a job promotion after solving a major crisis.
One thing that struck me was that she had so much positivity. The Law of Attraction worked really well for her, so she did not believe that she was lucky. She just got what she wanted because she carried positive thoughts.
Now, the problem came when she kissed a guy who had the worst luck in the world. Their luck switched and she immediately got arrested, lost her job and broke her nose while in detention. He got a chance of his lifetime to get a new British band discovered by a music mogul.
About this guy, despite having bad luck for most part of his life, he did not blame himself. He still looked on the bright side of things, and was well prepared to solve any possible problems, such as keeping a poncho instead of an umbrella because he knew it would become a lightning rod with all the strong wind instead.
Even when Lohan was stuck in a janitor type job and had to scrape bubblegum and unclog the toilets, she learnt from mistakes quickly and did her best in everything.
Of course, this is a show, and anyone who is down on his or her luck will not be able to smile like her. But what was interesting was that when you keep getting something you want, even better things will come. In addition, what can go wrong will go wrong. You choose to keep a virtuous cycle as compared to being stuck in a vicious cycle.
At the practical examination I mentioned earlier, I observed that some of the candidates were confronted with something they did not know. One couldn’t get something to work, and so she asked for help. They were actually given the go-ahead according to instructions to ask for help if they were stuck for more than fifteen minutes. Of course, marks would be deducted based on the extent of help rendered. Some may continue to keep quiet and suffer the fate of getting extremely poor marks. It is a calculated decision we have to take sometimes. Two others subsequently asked for identification of materials and help was rendered to them.
What would you do if you were in their situation? It’s just like Asia Amazing Race, where time is precious. Contestants were tasked to dig through an area of sand to look for an object. Despite digging for a long time, some refused to give up. That was because if they had given up, they would have incurred a time penalty of four hours. Probably they thought they could do it within a shorter period of time. One group after searching for an hour decided to give up. A few other groups decided to give up. They were all afraid that if the took the time penalty, it would be disastrous. Unfortunately, for those who carried on, they became extremely tired and exhausted, and still could not find the object until the sun had come down. One group finally gave up after expending a lot of energy and wasted even more time.
In such situations, the stubborn streak might have hindered them from seeking help or taking penalties. It might be useful if time was not a concern, because these are people who would ultimately succeed. If Edison was not such a person, we would not have our light bulbs today. However, this was a contest and time was a key factor. For the examination, time was also a key factor. It was better to lose a few marks than to lose all marks.
In reality, things are not so straightforward. We cannot predict what our competitors may do, but sometimes we have to take a step back in order to go a longer way.