Why I’m Jealous of Magneto’s Helmet

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As a driver-minded guy, I’m always finding lessons in life, especially in movies and television series.  One of my favorite genres is Marvel…. anything Marvel.  The complexity of the characters and their development throughout the story-line always leave me wanting more.

One of my favorite characters in X-Men is Magneto. He’s quite the complex antagonist. Unlike traditional adversaries, Magneto does not have the a-typical plan to destroy the world to motivate his actions. His motives are to protect the race of mutants from the efforts of the human race to track and exterminate.

One thing I find myself jealous of is Magneto’s helmet which protects him from the telepathic attacks from other mutants.  Sure, in the real world we don’t have to worry about such attacks (or do we), but I’d like a little variation of his helmet to make my life a little easier.

I am one of those who struggles with being inside of my own head. For those who do not share this debilitation, it is best described as over-analysis paralysis on your own actions, thoughts, and words throughout the day. There are times I’ll find myself so wrapped up in mental if/then scenarios, I exhaust myself with little or no productive results to show for it.

Here are some examples:

What did person X mean when they said Y? Was it because they misinterpreted what I said? I hope they knew  I was joking. Man, I should work on that, not everyone has my sense of humor.  Could I have handled that better? Maybe they’re not responding because they’re upset? Or what if they’re just busy? Should I acknowledge that I may have made a mistake? No, that would seem like I lack self-confidence.

If you’re an X-Men fan like me, this little dialogue is similar to when the audience gets to experience what telepathic hear when they use their powers. Magneto, however, simply puts on his helmet and is able to tune all of it out. #Jealous

Being self-aware is in no way a bad thing… in moderation of course. If it were as easy as placing something on my head to keep it in moderation, life would be golden. Unfortunately, Google hasn’t made anything like that yet so I have to resort to other measures.  Here are a couple of my tricks:

  1. Workout- I workout twice a day during the week. This routine is more about mental clarity than it is about physical health, although the physical benefits are great too. I have found true balance when I’m able to break away from the world, put on a good book or favorite playlist, and crank out a physically challenging workout.
  2. Honest Friends- An important lesson I’ve learned is to surround myself with people who will tell me when I need to get out of my own head and move on. These people are priceless and a must have in my life. They know when I’m truly struggling with something real versus something I’ve concocted in my head. More importantly, they are bold enough to tell me what I need to hear when I need to hear it.
  3. Journaling- I know it sounds cheesy but sometimes, it’s good to write things out and then reread your thoughts. I’ve found this is a good way for me to remain as objective as I can and force myself to view reality, not the augmented reality I sometimes create.

Everyone has their own way of “putting on the helmet”, these are just a couple of my tricks.  What works best for you?

So what does the title of this blog mean?

I had a subscriber recently email me this question and I found it ironic.  For someone who constantly talks about clarity in communication, I kind of dropped the ball on this one.  So, here’s the answer to where I got the title, “Driver Minded Guy in a Passenger Minded World.”

Driver Minded– One of the strongest strengths and weaknesses I have is my “driver” mentality.  I am one who likes to get things done, often at the sake of creating awkward silences in planning meetings.  Unfortunately, I haven’t learned how to totally get around making others uncomfortable when the Driver comes out in me, but I have taken some of the edge off of it.  I enjoy planning and creative sessions, but find equal enjoyment in getting action items together and most importantly… DONE!  So, as you can imagine, this can create quite the conflict in this head of mine when I know I need to take the RPMs down but can’t seem to find a way to do so.

Passenger Minded World-  Unfortunately, I have noticed over the last several years the transition of most people to taking a passenger mentality.  It seems so many people are afraid to make decisions and feel more comfortable allowing others to make the decision and they simply comply (and complain when no one is looking).

Frankly, these people drive me absolutely crazy.  I am one who enjoys progress and a lot of times, have to remind myself not everyone thinks like I do.  I also have learned, through many hard knocks, that it really is better to seek to understand prior to being understood.

Passenger minded people drive me crazy because sometimes, they have the best ideas, but just do not want to stick their neck out there.  I have been through numerous meetings where I have sat next to a passenger minded person who had the best idea in the room.  Had they not sat next to a big mouth like me, the idea would have gone unnoticed.

So, all of that to say, this blog is about some of the internal battles that go off in my head as well as some practical thoughts on various business topics.  I hope this answers the questions of those readers who asked.