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The Seagulls Stole My Hot Dog…Or Is That Just My Perspective?

Born and raised in central South Dakota, at age 16, I spent the summer in California with relatives. It also involved watching their young children 5 days a week—but that’s a different story entirely.

One hot day in August, we took a trip to the Oakland zoo. It was lunch time so my uncle purchased hot dogs for everyone. Ahh...the finest of all cured meats. I watched the seagulls walk around in the food court, looking for nibbles.

Handed a hotdog, I approached the condiments area. The gulls, sensing my ‘fresh from the farm” naïvety, rose up and began to beat me about the head and face with their wings. Valuing my eyesight, my natural inclination was to drop the hot dog and cover my head with my arms. The gulls, pleased with my actions, snatched the hot dog—in mid-air, mind you—and had a delightful lunch. True story—no bird handlers, no Hitchcock, and no hiatus from filming. Take that Tippi Hedren.

Once the fray had settled, I found myself humiliated, robbed and hungry—the unsuspecting victim of a vicious plot. My uncle, viewing all that had taken place, went back to the vendor and bought another hot dog. As he handed it to me he said sternly, “Don’t drop it this time.”

Excuse me?! I was just assaulted (yes, yes, even though my eyes remain in their sockets and my clothes unsullied with doo-doo). But is it really my fault? I can’t help that hot dogs cost more at the Oakland Zoo than a steak would back home. Of course, I didn’t say any of those things—choosing instead to stuff my feelings deep down inside—I think I even mustered up a “Thank you.”

So, did you catch it—that disconnect? That slight shift in perspective between my cousin and me. Of course, my perspective was the right one; his actions were unreasonable. Right? Or in his world, did the situation occur differently?

This concept is outlined in the book The Three Laws of Performance by Steve Zaffron & Dave Logan:

"Almost without exception, people do not notice that they are only aware of how situations occur to them. They talk and act as if they see things as they really are."

Want to take a gander as to how this might apply to your business? Perhaps your prospects’ view of your company, goods or services differs from your own.

Whose perspective do you think matters the most? It’s time for an alignment. Call the Brand Doctor at 303.246.5358

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