MacDonald: Fact or fiction filter |

MacDonald: Fact or fiction filter

Machen MacDonald

I find that the people who get ahead and stay ahead of the rest of the crowd operate based on the facts in a different way than those who struggle and prance around the neighborhood of mediocrity.

Facts are facts. Things are things. Events are events. It is what it is. Where the departure occurs from successful people is in the meaning we make up about those facts. Fiction is our imagined reality of what the facts mean. Our story is our creative narrative around the facts. That story is either contributing to our progress or contaminating it.

It’s all about us dot com. You see, the meaning we put on the facts is what it means about us. Consider this, when something comes into our experience we run through an evaluation loop in our mind, which is comprised of three primary questions: 1. What is it? 2. What does it mean to me (or about me)? and 3. What am I supposed to do with it or about it?

Here are a couple examples:

Example 1.

Fact: A new person is hired at work.

Internal Evaluation Loop: Who is this person? Will I like them and will we get along? Will they help me or hinder me in my work?

Fiction: Based on how we answered those questions and myriad others, in the course of just a nanosecond, we form a bias about who we believe that person is and how we will be in relation with that new hire.

Example 2.

Fact: We present our product or service to a prospective client and they decide not to buy from us.

Internal Evaluation loop: Do they not like me? Could I have done something different to influence them to buy from me? Could I have done a better job handling their objection? And on and on …

Fiction: We make up a story of whether we are a good sales person or not. Much of which is based on how we were trained to sell or perhaps not trained. If we understand that sales is a numbers game and delays are not denials, we probably can easily move on to the next prospective client. If we believe that people buy us and not the product or service, we may feel very dejected and move timidly, if even at all, to get in front of the next prospect.

Our fiction comes from our filter. Our filters either inspire us or expire us. We have created our own filters and we can change them and upgrade them at any time. In fact, our filter is attached to our Internal Evaluation Loop and is continually changing form based on how we answer the questions in our evaluation loop. To illustrate this, let me share a saying with you from Albert Einstein: “Whatever you say to yourself before you look at something determines what you see.”

Shakespeare articulated it in another way: “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

In the first scenario, if the persons filter is something like — I’m a people person. It’s fun to collaborate and gain new perspectives on how to make progress and two heads are better than one, then the way they answer the looping questions will provide an outcome of behaving much differently than someone’s filter that is – you can’t trust people, people just need to get out of my way so I can do my work and if you want things done right you have to do it yourself.

To optimize your experience going forward pay attention to your filter. It may be time to change it. Work with the facts and don’t get trapped in your story. Remember this, you may not be able to create a new beginning. However, you can always create a new ending.

Make it up, make it fun and make it happen!

Machen P. MacDonad, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He can be reached at and 530-273-8000.

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