As a sales motivational speaker, I sometimes find myself moved by the story behind the story in films. Last night, I watched the film Click with Adam Sandler and Kate Beckinsale. I’d seen parts of it before but not the whole film. In it Michael Newman (Adam Sandler) is an architect who lives a fairly normal life with a wife, children and a job. One night he finds a ”universal remote control” which can skip parts of his life that he finds boring, upsetting or otherwise does not want to take part in.
At first, Michael uses it to skip a fight with his wife and then a common cold and a family dinner. He thinks that it is amazing allowing him to move ahead to parts of his life that he loves and avoiding those that he doesn’t. Promised a promotion in work in a few months time Michael doesn’t like the wait so decides to skip ahead to the promotion only to find that he is now in marriage counselling and that his dog has died! As it turns out, whilst he is “skipping” he lives his life on “auto-pilot”, for example, at a family dinner he chose to skip he just sits there, not really taking part and not really involved.
Suddenly, his life starts to skip forward without him pressing the remote at all and he loses many years of his life. The remote control has a “memory” and will skip parts of your life (e.g. sickness, arguments, etc) that you have skipped previously. Michael finds himself years in the future, a CEO of his own company but also obese, distanced from his children and divorced. When Michael falls and hurts his head and then suffers years of illness, the remote, having learnt that he wants to avoid illnesses catapults him years into the future. His wife is remarried and he has little left in his life so he uses the remote to skip forward to the next “happy time” in his life and arrives at his son’s wedding only to find that even then events do not transpire how he would wish…
I won’t tell you any more about the film incase you haven’t seen it but for a casual night’s TV watching this film turned out to be a poster child for personal development and a road map to success….
How many people do you know who live their lives on auto-pilot? How many colleagues do you know who sit in the office wishing their lives away? How many friends do you have who do not seize the moment and make the most of every day?
As a sales training expert, I see salespeople, business owners and professionals who prospect, cold call, attend sales meetings, give sales presentations, negotiate and attempt to close deals all on auto-pilot. Sure, they’re there physically but a part of them failed to turn up. Worse, your brain is like the universal remote control and once it realizes that you are not giving 100% to something it will become programmed to act that way in the future and you will find yourself sleep walking through your life.
Don’t get me wrong here… everyone has down days, everyone has days when they would rather be in bed and everyone has days when they wished that they’d not bothered. No problem with that, just make tomorrow a better one. The real problem comes when those days become habit, those days become commonplace, those days become the norm for you.
What will be the compound effect of those auto-pilot days? What will you miss out on? Where will you end up? What won’t you achieve in your life?
Most people exaggerate what they can achieve in a day or a week and underestimate what they can achieve in the longer term. The compound effect of giving 80% versus giving 100% will be massive in your life but you may well not notice until you have fast-forwarded and it is too late…