I’ve seen this popping up online and in real life conversations a lot.
Seeing this once is once too often:
“There’s no point telling people to save the planet by going vegan or driving less. The big corporations are the real polluters. Why should the little guy do anything when they won’t?”
Whether or not you agree with that statement – or whether you even care about the environment at all – it’s worth unpacking that.
Let me dissect the levels on which this logic fails:
The Stoic Level
There’s no philosophy that’s perfect for all situations, but Stoicism, Buddhism and similar ideals are as close as it gets. If you take responsibility for your situation and accept what is real, you’ll do better almost every time.
You can’t control what corporations or politicians do.
You can, however, control what do you.
If you care about something, then take action. If not, then don’t. Refusing to make modest changes while insisting others make radical ones is wildly unwise. It’s a failure of character.
The choices you make reinforce the future you want. Will you cutting back on red meat save the planet? Of course not. But you have the choice between doing a little and doing nothing, then that’s no choice at all. If you complain that the little you can do is ‘too little’ – and so you won’t do it – then you’re no different to someone who doesn’t care.
The Practical Level
Even the most evil corporation follows the money.
Even the most self-serving politician follows the votes.
I’m sure there are organisations out there who are evil enough to want to enslave you. That sure would save them having to pay you a salary. They don’t do that, though, because they can’t get away with it.
They can, however, get away with wrecking the place – up to a point.
The typical person says they care about the environment, then makes no changes in their lifestyle. So what do we see? We see corporations saying they care about the environment too… and doing nothing. We see politicians talking about how precious the environment is… and saying “carbon neutral by 2631!!!”.
And that’s all. They don’t have to do anything but talk and make vague commitments because, guess what, that’s all you do too.
The Logical Level
“Why should I do something when corporations do nothing? Corporations should do something while I do nothing!”
Yeah, okay. Do I even need to explain the failure of logic there?
No matter how you cut it, the logic only leads to action.
If you care about something – the environment or some other cause – then do something.
No, talking about it doesn’t count. It might help, sure, but it’s no substitute for action.
Do something or admit you don’t care enough to – those are your choices.
Now, here’s a question:
Do you care about your future?
“Of course I do, William. What sort of question is that?”
A reasonable one, I thought.
Because are you taking action to improve your future?
Bold, courageous action, involving clever sacrifice and hard work?
If not, then you don’t really care about your future. You only say you do.
If, however, you want to commit to building a better future for yourself, sign up for Platinum Coaching. It’ll take your mind from where it is to where it needs to be for you to thrive.
Sign up here:
Charisma, it seems, is all art and no science.
Sure, you can try a few things. Things like making eye contact (but not too much), using their name (but not too much) and expressing confidence (but not too much).
And a thousand other techniques.
Do them all – but not too much! – and above all, be natural about it.
It kinda seems like there are two options:
Either you’re a creative, colourful, naturally charismatic person…
Or you’re left-brained and analytical, so you’re not.
Well, it might seem that way, but it’s not so. In fact, the more analytical you are, the more charismatic you can be.
What if I told you there was a simple formula for improving your conversations…
… that works with anyone, from strangers on the street to soulmates…
… that’s simple enough to learn, practice, memorise and follow, while being flexible enough to suit your style?
Not only that, I explain why each step works, not just what it does.
Would that appease the part of your mind that’s always observing and calculating?
It sure helped for me…
If you’re looking for answers about how conversations work – or want to know something you can use mid-sentence – then my conversational architecture is for you. I show how it works, for everything from ordering coffee to deep-and-meaningfuls, while showing you exactly what you need to think about next.
There are no scripts, dorky phrases or too-complex nonsense.
Only the deep, often-overlooked truth about how the best conversations work.
If you’re interested, then read on:
Story time, pendos:
A few years back, I was with a group of friends at our local pub. We were all happily talking about whatever, but I started to withdraw from the conversation.
Yeah, it might not have been the most polite thing.
Or the most charismatic.
But while everyone else lost themselves in the conversation, I stared out the window, deep in thought. See, I’d been studying hard lately. Body language. Charisma. Influence. Right then, my mind decided it was time to reflect on everything.
Clearly I’m an introvert – an extravert would rather process all this by talking it through. Keep that in mind as I get back to the story.
Everyone else is deep in conversation.
I’m not – I’m simply sitting at the same table.
And then, because I was thinking about it, I did a simple gesture. I didn’t mean to – my body fired it off on its own.
The conversation stopped .
Everyone stopped and stared at me.
A few looked out the window to see what I was looking at. Then they focused on me again, as if expecting me to say something.
So I did.
This simple gesture, which you can learn with a few minutes of practice, is powerful.
It can pull all the attention onto you.
It can defuse tension and turn strangers into friends.
Apart from one or two cultures, it works in every group of people on the planet.
And it takes less than half a second to do. It’s so subtle, they probably won’t notice it. Even so, they’ll respond as if you pushed the friendship button in their brain.
What is this humble game-changer of a gesture?
I cover that in Exercise 1 of Conversation Hacker.
You can pick it up at this link here:
In Conversation Hacker, I teach you how to push the friendship button in other folk’s minds.
Whether they’re a stranger or soulmate, this simple gesture – especially when combined with everything else – easily builds a stronger sense of rapport.
It’s something most folk do naturally… but only with those they really like.
And only when they’re in the mood to be friendly.
Train yourself to do this with everyone, and you’ll radiate good intentions and charisma.
There’s an unfortunate side effect of this, though.
There are people in your life you think of as close friends. And as you start thinking about the architecture of conversation and everything that supports it, you’ll begin seeing it all out in the wild.
That includes some of these close friends sending friendly signals to you.
And… a few friends sending those signals to everyone but you.
Don’t read too much into it based on one interaction. Maybe they had a dream where you stole their computer mouse, replaced it with a cheap one and sold yours to a pawn shop.
(Yeah, that happened to me.)
With their conscious mind, they know it’s irrational to be mad at you.
The part that governs body language might not be on board with that plan, though.
So one-offs don’t mean much.
But consistent patterns?
That’s worth noticing.
We humans lie with our words several times a minute. But body language? That’s far more honest. And the truth is sometimes honesty hurts.
But wouldn’t you rather know how they really feel about you?
Besides, Conversation Hacker gives you the tools to handle it.
Either you can have deep and meaningful conversations with them to win them over…
… or you find new and better friends.
Either way, you’ll be in a better position.
That gives you a choice right now: continue wallowing in blissful ignorance, or step up and start seeing all relationships in a new light.
Here’s the link:
One of the curious things about the architecture of conversations – a model that’s at the heart of Conversation Hacker – is how widely applicable it is.
Think buying or serving coffee isn’t a ‘real conversation’?
Well, you might be right.
And yet human nature doesn’t change just because it’s transactional.
It might be short, artificial and constrained, but placing your order still counts as a conversation.
Which means the architecture of conversation still applies.
Sure, you can get away with mumbling “skinny mocha latte”, handing over your credit card and calling it a day. Lots of other folk do that, so it’s acceptable only because it’s normal.
It works the other way, too. Taking someone’s order doesn’t require you to think of them as a human being.
Even in such a short interaction, you can still use the power of conversation. And, no, I don’t mean you be that guy or gal who holds up the line, telling an Abraham Simpson-style story.
This can be just as fast as everyone else.
And about thirty times as fun and charismatic.
In fact, it’s great training for more natural conversations. If you can get your baristas or customers to open up and engage with you, you can do it with anyone.
There are two nice side effects to this sort of practice:
Firstly: better tips or service. Folks like folks who are polite and interested.
Secondly: you might just make their day. How different would things be if everyone got a little more care and positive attention in their lives?
Something to ponder while you see the results for yourself.
You can download Conversation Hacker here:
If you’ve enjoyed (or not) more video teleconferencing than usual lately, you’ve probably heard someone say something like this:
“Okay, so, I know this meeting is running a little long, so I won’t take up too much of your time, but I want to quickly raise something and I’ll be fast about it because I’m sure we’re all busy and you want to get on with your day…”
From a logical point of view, this is utterly meaningless.
Worse – the person is saying they’ll be quick but, if they really valued speed, they could skip all of that.
What’s going on?
When folks ramble like that, it’s often a sign of anxiety.
And, well, I’m sure that’s a factor here.
Anxiety is generally up, and communicating over these technologies tends to make folks more anxious than face-to-face meetings.
But that’s not the full story.
See, a rambling preamble like that conveys no information in the words.
But it’s far from meaningless.
To put it in engineering terms, most folks see the words as data, whereas the voice is the carrier signal. The voice is just there to get the data across and you could replace it with some other signal without losing anything.
That’s not what we see though.
People talk differently over Zoom than in real life.
That’s because the signal and the data are the other way around.
The data is in the voice.
The chosen words are the signal.
That’s (partly) why folks ramble like this over video conferencing. The vast majority of communication happens non-verbally – through body language, vocal inflection and so forth.
Over a fuzzy, low-frame rate video link – or, worse, a voice-only link – most of your data channels are degraded.
The only way to feel as heard as usual is to use more words to say the same amount of stuff.
It’s amazing what you notice when you know what to look for.
Folks say humans are irrational. I disagree – everything we do serves one or more of our needs, even if that need isn’t obvious or healthy.
If someone’s behaviour confuses or surprises you, the problem’s on your end, not theirs. Just because you can’t see the logic, that doesn’t mean their crazy – it means you’re not looking.
Fortunately, you can learn to see more and say more.
To forge deeper relationships with people, no matter the medium.
All with a simple set of formulas, as powerful as they are flexible.
Nothing is pure art.
Everything is learnable.
If you look at someone and wish you could be more like them… great! The good news is you can learn how.
It can seem strange if you’re the sort of person who gets stuck in your mind a lot. You can see others naturally go with the flow in conversations, while you find yourself overthinking everything.
So everything comes out awkward and clumsy.
You might wonder what you’re doing wrong.
Nothing – but you are doing things differently.
Everything from greetings to small talk to deep-and-meaningfuls follows a set of guidelines. Most folks aren’t conscious of them – it’s partly instinct, partly unconscious mimicry.
And that’s okay – when you consciously apply them, you might even end up being more charismatic than everyone following their gut.
Plus it gives that overactive brain of yours something to chew on during the slow parts of the conversation.
When you learn about conversational architecture, you’ll be amazed how simple, powerful and versatile it is. You can use it when you buy a coffee, make sales and enjoy pillow talk with your soulmate.
I know not everyone wants a simple formula for supercharging conversations.
But if you do?
You’ll find it worth your while to check this out:
Let’s unpack this, shall we?
In the Original Trilogy… sure, maybe.
I mean, it’s not likely – he was too cynical and self-interested to become a warrior/priest/monk.
But the Force flows through all living things.
He might not have had Luke’s natural advantages or the right attitude, but was there anything stopping him from learning how to, as they say, use the Force?
The movies don’t rule it out.
In the Prequel Trilogy, this interesting and realistic take gets a slight tweak:
“No. Midichlorians. I hate sand and only a Sith deals in absolutes.”
Right… so joining this military order depends on the purity of your blood. Thanks for that elaboration, Lucas. It feels like the Harry Potter series’ take on blood purity, run in reverse.
The Sequel Trilogy also sheds some light on this:
The Force manifests in between the Force and midichlorians when it comes to Sith and Jedi.
(If you’re struggling to make sense of that, it’s because I wrote three interesting sentences and then mashed them together at random, in the spirit of that trilogy.)
This might not be the clearest way to show how the franchise decayed.
But it’s yet another sign of it.
It’s funny to apply these different interpretations to our world:
Want angel investors? You first need a blood test to see if you’re related to Gates or Zuckerberg.
That’s not a richer world – that’s a weird, stunted and boring place to live.
Take that idea and toss it. If you want to do something or become something? Then do it. Will some folks have a natural advantage over others? Sure, but if someone with no legs can scale Everest, realise your limits are much higher than you sometimes think.
Of course, that’s real easy to say. “Achieve everything, even the impossible stuff!” What do you do if you believe that… but don’t know where to start?
Which is quite reasonable, really.
The thing is, you’ve almost certainly heard the answer:
Level up your people stills.
You don’t need to know Jedi mind tricks – all you need is a framework for what conversations actually for.
Here’s what many people forget: conversations aren’t exchanges of information. They test and build social connections, whether with strangers or people you know intimately.
Often, all it takes is a quick hey-how’s-it-going to tell when someone’s not in the mood to talk to you.
It goes deeper than that.
Almost every conversation – from ordering coffee to pillow talk with your soul mate – follows the same guidelines.
These guidelines, baked into your unconscious thanks to your pack hunter ancestry, show who is a good pack member and who isn’t.
Break these rules and people will think there’s something off about you, even if what you said ‘makes sense’.
Follow the guidelines consciously, though?
You’ll know when and with whom you can take the conversation where you want it to go… and have them like you for it.
I lay it all out in Conversation Hacker:
Stop me if this sounds familiar:
You have some goal or milestone.
You want a new home, a partner, more money, more freedom, to travel more.
Through hard work, patience and a smidge of luck, you get it…
… only to find that gnawing sensation is still there. You thought that reaching this goal would soothe that, but it didn’t. That sense of frustration, emptiness or incompleteness still lingers.
How could you be so wrong about what you want?
At a simple level, this comes from your addiction to narratives. Something feels off in your life, you’re single, so you tell yourself a story that having a partner will make everything feel right.
Maybe it will.
But how do you know?
Wouldn’t it be nice to know what’s really missing before you chase it?
Therein lies the rub, pendo. Anything you think about what your life needs is simply part of your narrative. Whether it’s right or wrong comes down to luck more than anything.
Imagine spending decades chasing riches, when all you really needed was a community you could belong to.
So… what do you do?
Put your narratives aside and talk to your unconscious.
I don’t mean dream analysis, which is just putting a narrative to the churnings of your unconscious self.
I don’t mean going with your gut.
Those can help, I guess, but if you really want to know what you want, you have to have a conversation with your unconscious.
This isn’t like trying to interpret cryptic omens from distant heavens. It’s like sitting in a room with your wisest, most capable self and having a chat.
Not sure how to do that?
Not many folks do, which is why it’s part of my Platinum Coaching program.
Figuring out what you really want is just the start… but that alone is worth the investment. After all, it could save you a lifetime of wrong turns and unsatisfying victories.
When you know what you want – what you really want – you’ll surprise yourself with just how quickly you can begin to find it.
Sign up here:
Sometimes, clients I see achieve incredible, instant and permanent results.
They immediately make the change that was so difficult before. They learn to relax, they quit smoking, they overcome anxiety – end of story.
When that happens, it’s great for everyone. They get what they want and I can focus on the next thing.
I don’t aim for that, though.
I assume there’ll be setbacks.
Times when the change falls apart.
For one thing, it sets a more realistic expectation. How many folks quit smoking, then never smoke again? Not many – more will relapse here and there.
And that’s okay.
In fact, that’s part of the process.
Knowing you can handle setbacks is better than not experiencing them, like learning how to make money is better than being rich.
Take smokers, for example. I hear this story all the time: they quit for about six months, then light up in a moment of weakness. Then they decide that this means they’re no longer a non-smoker, so they start smoking again.
Bah – you’re allowed to succumb to temptation here and there. You’re allowed to feel overwhelmed, feel anxiety or smoke a single cigarette.
This is how you build real change.
By managing yourself at these moments, you can experience them less. Like a tree, you grow taller by growing deeper.
That’s why, in my programs, I not only hypnotically install more useful mental habits into your unconscious – I bolster you against the moments when you slip. If you never need to know how to bounce back, great. If you do, then it can stop you from sliding back into old habits.
It’s also why my programs have such robust guarantees. If you find yourself needing some assistance years later, then you’ll get it as part of the program.
When you leave a session with me, your mind clear and your energies flowing, it can feel great.
That feeling can stay with you for a long time.
If it fades, though, it’s good to know your changes will carry on anyway.
So sign up for a session: