What Do You Know For Certain?

I’ve been reading a fascinating book by Daniel Burrus, called Flash Foresight, and decided to take his seven principles of insight and apply them to a personal development seminar that I’ve thought about creating. Today, I want to take you through the first principle in his series…

Start with certainty (use hard trends to see what’s coming).

Daniel makes the point in his book that there are two types of trends we should concern ourselves with. There are hard trends and soft trends

A hard trend is a projection based on measurable, tangible, and fully predictable facts, events, or objects. A soft trend is a projection based on statistics that have the appearance of being tangible, fully predictable facts. A hard trend is something that will happen: a future fact. A soft trend is something that might happen: a future maybe. This distinction completely changes how we view the future. Understanding the difference between hard and soft trends allows us to know which parts of the future we can be right about.

The idea in his first tenet is to focus on the hard trends and ask the question: What do we know for certain?

Let’s look at that concerning the Relevant Light Seminar. In a past post we discussed the outline of the seminar. It will be built around 5 main tenets…

Legacy, Impact, Goals, Habits, and Time.

The seminar will start on a Friday night and look at the Legacy and Impact tenets through a stage presentation. In the stage play, you are taken to a future time, two weeks after your death. The location is your garage and two of your children are sorting through your junk. There are two garage views presented. One very organized, the other a mess. Two sets of actors are present, one neatly dressed, the other disheveled.

The idea is to present you with a future view of your legacy. You are shown what will endure and what will be thrown away. In an emotional “wheat and chaff” exercise only a few items will remain. These few remnants will outlive your life.

So.. What do we know for certain here…?

  • Funerals are very emotional
  • We all get old and will die at some future time.
  • Outward appearances are not always indicative of the true person
  • Going through other people’s stuff is frustrating, emotional, and difficult.
  • Most people’s parents die when they themselves are between 40 to 70 years old.

So what can we glean from these answers as it pertains to the seminar?

  • Audience members can better relate to something if they have gone through a similar experience themselves. Given our demographics, this seminar would be ideal for people from 40 to 70 years old since they have probably have had a parent pass away and have actually been in the garage situation themselves.
  • Actually experiencing an emotional experience will be more likely to result in the person taking action to prevent it from happening. Finding the right emotional level will be key in making this seminar a success.
  • Varying the reactions and outcomes of our actors in relationship to the items they find will give great insights on having things survive after your death. This will tie in directly to certain parts of a person’s legacy. For example, if someone’s lifelong journal is thrown in the trash, all history of their day to day life will be lost.
  • Having a well dressed actor be a heartless fool, versus a disheveled actor having a caring heart, will show that appearances can be deceiving.
  • This seminar would be a great place to illustrate the virtues of organization, planning, and being prepared.

Overall: Running our seminar through the first principle, What Do We Know For Sure, allows us to better see the demographics of our audience, the emotional level of the presentation, the fact that appearances can be deceiving, and that organization and pre planning can cut the frustration level dramatically.

We’ll take these four ideas and proceed to principle number two… Anticipate (Base your strategies on what you know for sure) tomorrow.

Question: What do you know for certain?


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