Graphs and psychokinesis
No, I don’t believe in psychokinesis. At least not the repeatable type apparently practiced by Yuri Geller, but I do believe in the power that the mind has over itself. That’s why I love graphs. They help my mind control my mind.
Let me explain –
My PA, Thuli, says that the reason that I am so slim is that I have the right genes. She’s right, I am blessed with “slim” genes. But what she does not acknowledge is how hard I work to stay slim. Weight training 5 days a week, 5 small meals a day, all the right food and my graphs!
I have electronic scales which measure mass and % body fat. Muscle holds water and fat doesn’t, so by measuring the electrical conductivity between my feet, the scales give an indication of the fat to total mass percentage (water is a good conductor of electricity). Now there’s no way this can be accurate as the electricity from the scales only passes up one leg and down the other, but it is not the absolute value that matters so much as the change or trend. I plot the numbers every day on an Excel spreadsheet, do a little arithmetic (it is easy to calculate body fat = % fat x total mass, and then lean mass = total mass – body fat). Then I get Excel to draw daily graphs of lean mass and body fat and I insert trend lines over these. Now I can “think” the body fat trend down and I can “think” the lean mass trend up. It’s not psychokinesis but it works nonetheless.
Why? Because my brain gets its own message and I tend subconsciously to do whatever is necessary to move the graphs in the direction that I am thinking them. Maybe a slightly smaller helping of food than I would otherwise have had, maybe one or two extra reps when my trainer says “go to failure” or maybe occasionally something dramatic like giving up wine with my meals, giving up butter, sugar, salt or whatever my mind tells me to do. (The only one of those that I have left is butter).
Now, let’s apply this to business. I’ll graph different things at different times depending on what we are aiming to achieve, but my all time favourite is Moving Annual Total Turnover. You enter your monthly turnover horizontally into an Excel spreadsheet. Then you write a simple formula that sums the turnover for the last 12 months. You copy this formula along to the right. Each cell then contains the turnover for the 12 months to date. Graph the result with a simple line graph. If, every month, you do better than you did in the same month last year, then the numbers will keep growing and the graph keeps going up, which is what you want. You might want to adjust for inflation (your price increases), or you might just decide to remain aware that inflation alone will cause an upward tendency. Now you can “think” the graph up. Again, it’s not psychokinesis but it works nonetheless.
Why? Because your brain gets its own message and you start doing whatever it takes to increase sales.
So whenever your current goal is quantifiable, (paying off the bond, increasing sales by 25%, losing 15kg body mass, running a 4 minute mile), draw a graph of your progress and then “think” the graph in the direction that you want it to go. Yes, it really does work and you don’t have to be Yuri Geller.