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Monday, April 22, 2013

Shock & Surprise

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Sometimes people surprise us with their words.  Sometimes people shock us with their words.  What’s the difference?  Intensity.  What’s a factor of intensity?  Time in response.  A shock is instantaneous.  There’s no time to think.  Our bodies simply react from conditioned response.  When we are surprised, however, we have time to consider what was said.  We think about it, and we then evaluate it as being “surprising.”

Anthony Robbins coined a technology called Transformational Vocabulary where he illustrates how changing our vocabulary changes the way we feel.  Instead of saying “I feel frustrated,” say “I feel inconvenienced.”  It truly works.  And it’s not just about making ourselves feel better.  I feel that in this book, I dive into a little more depth by emphasizing how we can switch our words to not only vary our emotions, but vary our impact on other people.

It’s not necessarily about feeling better, but about creating a different sense.  Being surprised, or being shocked is neither entirely negative nor positive.  The power lies in understanding how to make the most use of each word in any given moment.

When presenting to a variety of venture capitalists with new technology ideas, I soon realized that it wasn’t my intent to surprise them.  I wanted to shock them!  See, when someone is surprised, they intellectually try to figure out what caused them to be surprised.  If VC’s have the chance to do that, they can intellectually justify their way out of not giving me any money.  If I shock them, then they have an impulse reaction.  Their subconscious takes over and they automatically take action.  In this situation, shock is better than surprise.

Surprise birthdays, for the most part, should really be called shock birthdays.  People seem to want to have a person show up somewhere and be completely taken aback when they suddenly see all their friends waiting in the dark.  Pulling a “shock” birthday off is really a tough task.  As my friend Lorne Berman says, it causes people to unnecessarily make-up lies and false stories in order to lure the birthday person into shock.

Keep a surprise birthday simply a surprise.  Most people don’t forget when their birthdays are, so they are probably suspicious about other people acting suspicious anyways.  A group of my friends organized a “surprise” birthday where the evening and event was known to the birthday-boy.  However, the activity was kept secret.  This actually had the person feel a sense of anticipation, and look forward to the “surprise” event.  Much more value for much less hassle.

I suspect this concept would even work much better with females.  Dr. John Gray says that regardless the size of an act, women allocate the same number of “points” for good things that guys might do for them.  Love note = 1 point.  Flowers and chocolate = 1 point.  New BMW = 1 point.  The advantage of this type of point system is when men make a date for the future.  Date = 1 point, however, every time the women thinks about the date = 1 point, every time the women mentions the upcoming date to a friend = 1 point.  A man can get tons of points for one act, if he schedules well in the future.

To conclude the distinction, surprise = 1 to infinite points, shock = -1 or +1 point.

Let's love the world together...

Danish Ahmed, blind visionary

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