Welcome to shitsville….
That’s how I ended a comment on another blog….. What? That’s not very polite I hear you say… and you’re right but it needs some context to understand the comment…
The blog post I commented on was an honest assessment of how Single Dad feels about some recent media around a disability related issue… and the feelings it brought up for him.
Now Single Dad NEVER pulls punches..(and did I tell you he hates idiots.. ) in his post he did a great job of explaining the Shit-o-meter… (and I stole the image from his post.. because I happen to like the GAFoM version). He also did a great job of honestly assessing his own ability on the shitometer, and comparing that to others perceptions and abilities on the shitometer scale.
My comment was about all of us being somewhere on the shitometer scale, and sometimes being at multiple points on it at various points in time. You can find the post here (but I warn you, unless you are willing to confront brutal honesty from both Single Dad and those that comment on his blog, most of whom are dealing with profound disabilities of one sort or another.. don’t follow the link.)
How to get out of Shitsville
If you were in Shitsville I’m sure you would be looking for a way out…. the reality for the vast majority of people for whom Single Dad’s post was relevant is that there is NO WAY OUT OF SHITSVILLE and we will always be sitting somewhere on that scale… but for everyday folk… it really should be about Giving a F… and putting that needle on the GAFoM gauge at the top of the post firmly into the positive zone?
But it was another post that I read this week that was a great prompt for thinking about how to change the number of your own shitometer.
Irrational questions to ask yourself….
In that post Dan Pink introduced the work of Dr Michael Pantalon PhD (author of Instant Influence: How to get anyone to anything FAST , and Dr Pantalon provided two questions and some analysis that I think I really useful.. but I’ll adapt them to the circumstances of the shitometer
1. How ready are you change your number on the shitometer, on a scale of 1-10, where 1 means not ready at all and 10 is totally ready?
As per Dr Pantalon’s instructions you MUST give yourself a number.. if your answer really is a 1.. then ask yourself “what would turn it into a 2″. If you answer yourself honestly.. you have just revealed to yourself what you need to be able to make a change….and what you need to be motivate yourself to do first.
2. If you pick a number that was higher than 2 ask yourself “Why didn’t I pick a lower (yes, lower) number?
By honestly answering question 2 your are asking yourself to defence why your desire to change is the slightest bit important to you, rather than defend your excuses why you won’t do it.. As Dr Pantalon says … The answers lead you to rehearse the positive and intrinsic reasons for doing what you asked yourself which in turn dramatically increases the chances that you will actually get it done…
The book contains plenty of other gems… not put together by your average watch me make a quick buck internet marketing entrepreneur but by Psychological research scientist from Yale School of Medicine, so go buy the book Instant Influence: How to get anyone to anything FAST to learn some more (and yes that IS an affiliate link, so you if you buy from the link you can help me maintain my coffee habit!)
and… when there really is no way out of Shitsville?
If there REALLY is no way out of Shitsville ….. then I invite you back to my post on sitting with sadness