14 April, 2013

Can You Do Better than Others? by M.R. Jordan


Writer and editor M.R. Jordan on the arts of everything from nannies to camel jockeys, and finding 
and exploiting your own unique talents.

The plot to Supper Nanny is pretty simple. Supernanny comes in and implements the same techniques each week and then nails the parents to the wall for inconsistency and lazy parenting. Families are transformed. Part of the draw of this show of course is seeing the infinite ways in which kids can be horrible and a secret hope that Supernanny will finally meet her match. She never does. Perhaps this is due to tricks of the camera, but my time teaching ESL showed me the extent to which children are hardwired to please. This last part is an observation, but not important to this topic.

What is important is that despite using the same techniques for child discipline and nailing parents to the wall for years, Supernanny has no shortage of families who need their help.

Q. Why don't people just implement the techniques on their own? Think about this a minute before you read my answer.

A. Think about the question some more. No, that's not my answer, silly, but I know you're reading this a half a second after reading the question.

Do you want the answer now? Of course you do. Perhaps you're the kind of person who likes to know what other people think before forming an opinion of your own.

Keep thinking…

Okay, now for my opinion on this subject. It's not laziness or ignorance. The average person cannot watch a how-to video, read a how-to book, or watch Supernanny and implement those skills successfully. Give any child or adult who has never backed in their lies an instant cake mix and watch them struggle to follow the directions. Most people are hardwired to learn from other people. This is why universities don't just hand college students a book to read and expect them to know the contents of said book.

One of the things I can do that most other people can't is learn from a book, only a book, and nothing else but a book. I used a lot of words to tell you this, but I have, what I think, is a grand a point.

This is my strength. I'm using it to educate myself about marketing and business and Excel. Whether you are a writer, song writer, camel jockey or candle stick maker, you have internal assets at your disposal right now. Life lends itself to focusing on external obstacle and it's easy to forget our assets. Don't be the silly reality TV star who says "I think I deserve to win more than anyone else in the house," or "tribe"… whatever. Not a single person thinks they don't deserve to win more than anyone else. Think, instead, what asset you can bring to the table that others can't. Let's say you’re a camel jockey. It's a well established fact that camel jockeys have to be sequestered the night before a race. Otherwise they'll get so drunk, they will fall of their camels during the race. See * for more information about Sequestering camel jockeys to prevent consumption of copious amounts of alcohol syndrome. (SCJPCCAAS) Perhaps you can drink like a fish and stay on your camel. This unique trait gives you a unique advantage over all the other jockeys.

Do you have traits that others don’t? What are they? How can you use them in your pursuit of dreams?

* SCJPCCAAS: This is probably not a real thing, which makes me sad. The world would be more awesome if it was.

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