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Movies & Seeds

February 17, 2009
The movie rating system in the US is an interesting thing. There are all these levels of okay-ness based on how much language, violence, and sex are portrayed in a movie. G Ratings are the ones that we take the little kids to see. They are the warm and fuzzy feel good movies with happy endings. PG ratings may have less than ideal and innocent content, but are still fairly mild. 
 
There’s the PG-13 rating. These have some rough language, inuendo, maybe a sex scene or two, possibly a few instances of violence. The R ratings indicate grotesque bloodshed, intense emotion-invoking scenes, heated and steamy sex, and language that spews obscenities in every sentence. Okay, I’m sure you recognize a little bit of personal bias in those descriptions, yet I think most will agree that I am on track for the most part. 
 
So what? What does this have to do with Superior Performance? Everything. We all have movies that play in our heads. We create them. We write the dialogue. We are usually in the starring role. What is your movie rated? Are you playing the G rated movie? The one in which things are warm and fuzzy and there is always a happy ending? The one where the language is courteous and supportive and the princess always gets her prince? Are you playing the “Dreams Do Come True” movie?
 
Or…is yours a little more PG: A decent movie with a few more ups and downs, an occasional derrogatory comment to yourself or about someone else, a cutdown here or there, but basically on the up and up. 
 
Is it a PG-13? Is the movie in your head playing scenes of you having to do battle or fight against some force? Does it show the darker side of life? Is the star (you) constantly criticising yourself or others for actions or inactions? 
 
Is it R-rated? Would you take your children to see a movie where the characters talked to each other the way you speak to yourself inside your head? Is it angry and violent? Do you call yourself stupid? Do you think things about other people that you would never say outloud? 
 
If we expect superior performance, we must practice superior thinking. This isn’t always easy since many of us are in the habit of being critical of ourselves. Here are a few steps to get started down the road to superior thinking:
 
  • Begin to notice what you say to yourself about yourself. If your kids said that to each other, would you tolerate it or would someone land in time-out? Is it downright mean? (“You idiot! How could you be so stupid?”) Does it seethe with sarcasm? (“Way to go, Genius. That was just brilliant. NOT!”)
  • Correct yourself when you realize what you have done. (“Uh-oh. Let me try that again. I could have handled that better if I had….”) or (“Next time I will do it this way and I will get better results.”) Yes, it sounds very hoaky and forced at first, but I promise it gets better with practice, and as you become nicer to yourself, you won’t need to rephrase things as often.
  • Notice your thoughts about others and reframe when necessary. If Susie is truly “…as dumb as a doorknob”, how can you reframe that feeling to serve you both a little better? Maybe Susie “…hasn’t been as blessed with enough educational experiences to produce a correct response” or maybe she “….doesn’t see things in same way I do.”
 
Yes, I know, very goofy. Nevertheless, it’s like planting seeds. We are always planting seeds everywhere we go, in everything we do, and everything we think, every minute of every day. Do we want to plant weed seeds that are easy because they stick to the bottom of our shoes and take no effort to plant and grow? Or would it be better to take little bit of extra time and effort to pluck the weeds and plant useful and pretty things that will grow and blossom into nourishing food for the soul?
 
What’s playing in your theater right now? Franken-Slasher or The Master Gardener?
 
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