LEARNING TO COUNT TO 0

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ZERO-BASED THINKING

Zero-based thinking applies to investments of time, money, and emotion. According to several studies, the decisions you make regarding your business, investments, and much of your personal life will turn out to be wrong about 70% of the time. This means that over time, you will find that you have made choices and decisions that did not result in the outcomes that you have expected when you made those choices and decisions in the first place.

How could this be? It’s because the answers have changed. When you made the decision, you did so based on the information that you had at the time. You made the best choice you could have made at the time, all things considered; however, the answers have changed and because of this, your choice may now look much different.

So what is the leading indicator of a zero-based thinking situation? It is your level of STRESS.

Yes, that is correct: Stress! If knowing what you know now you wouldn’t get into the situation again, you are in a zero-based thinking situation. Whenever you feel chronic, continuous stress, you are likely in a zero-based thinking situation. Whenever something keeps you awake, interferes with your family relationships, preoccupies you when you are driving or commonly causes you ongoing anger or unhappiness, you might want to ask yourself the question, “Knowing what I now know, would I get into this situation again?”

So now, take a look at your investments of emotions, time, and money and ask yourself, “Knowing what I now know about this investment, would I do this again if I had to do it over?” If your answer is “no” the next question that you must ask is, “ How do I get out of this _____________and how fast?”

I am not recommending that you quit your job, sell all of your stocks, or walk away from your marriage relationship. What I am suggesting is that you seriously evaluate your current situation based on the way things are today, rather than the way they were when you originally made the decision. Have the courage and honesty to face your situation squarely and deal with it as it really is and not as if you wish it would be.

You must especially practice zero-based thinking in times of chaos in your life. Imagine holding up an empty picture frame in front of a scene representing each area of your life and asking yourself whether this is an area of your life you would do differently now. If you had to do it over, what would you differently?  What would it look like?