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TipsForSuccess: Stop the Confusion!


Stop the Confusion!

You cannot succeed if you are confused. Your education, skills and experience are made useless by confusion. Every failure you have ever had included some confusion.

For example, you want to earn more money. So you take a computer class and learn to use some basic software. You gain the education to earn more pay, but because you are confused about how to get a better job, you do nothing.

As another example, you want to raise your teenage boy to be happy and successful. One day, you find strange pills and marijuana in his room. You want to punish him, but you hate how your parents punished you. So you become confused and ineffective.

Confusion makes you stop and worry. It spins you around and stops your progress. It makes you feel stupid.

If your boss says, "You're fired!" or your spouse says, "I want a divorce," the confusion can wipe you out for weeks.

Confusion makes you give up on your goals. You agree to accept the limitations and barriers of life. You stop trying to get ahead. You settle for less.

Fortunately, you can eliminate confusions.

Confusion and the Stable Datum

In Chapter Two of his book The Problems of Work, L. Ron Hubbard shows how you can erase confusions by simply grasping one part of the confusion.

"The switchboard operator receiving ten calls at once solves the confusion by labeling, correctly or incorrectly, one call as the first call to receive her attention. The confusion of ten calls all at once becomes less confusing the moment she singles out one call to be answered."

"Until one selects one datum*, one factor*, one particular* in a confusion of particles, the confusion continues. The one thing selected and used becomes the stable datum for the remainder." -- L. Ron Hubbard
(*Datum: one fact or piece of information. Factor: element or ingredient. Particular: a single thing; separate and distinct)

Example: After a year at your first job at Tom's Car Repair Shop, Tom retires, the shop goes out of business. When you hear the news, you feel confused as you've never had another job. Your head spins with too many thoughts. You sit at home and worry.

So you select one thing as your stable datum: "I am a great mechanic. I can fix anything." You suddenly relax. Your head stops spinning. "I'm a GREAT MECHANIC!"

Because you no longer feel confused, but feel confident, you get a great job fixing airplanes at United Airlines.

As another example, Jill's parents send her to college. They want her to become a doctor, but she leaves medical school to become a party planner. Her parents are furious with her. They yell at her over the telephone and then refuse to talk to her. Because her parents had never been this angry, Jill becomes very confused. She cannot think about her parents, school, party planning or her future without getting confused.

At first, she gives up on everything and stays in bed all day. But then she selects a stable datum: "I'm sure that deep down, my parents still love me despite our disagreement." She no longer feels confused and knows what to do. She sends her parents a nice e-mail about the weather and includes a picture of her pet cat. Her father writes back, thanks her for the message and tells her they are sorry and will support whatever career she pursues.

No matter what confusion is blocking your success, the "Confusion and Stable Datum" technique can clear your mind and help you take positive action.

Try These Three Easy Steps

You can use this technique in many ways. For example, you can resolve a confusion by deciding on your next action:

1. Write down a problem, situation or project that is on your mind. It can be anything that is difficult, disorganized or confusing.

2. Write down the result you wish to accomplish.

What is the optimum conclusion? If everything goes well, what will happen with this problem, situation or project? What would make you feel you resolved the problem or completed the project?

3. Finally, write down the NEXT PHYSICAL ACTION STEP you need to take. This is your stable datum.

What can you do? What act will move you closer to the optimum condition? If you had nothing else to do besides work on this project, what single thing would you do?

"Schedule a meeting" is too vague. Instead, be specific. Examples: "Tell Jack to find the Smith file." "Watch the training video." "Buy a box of folders." "Make ten calls by noon." "Clean out the closet." "Train Nancy to answer the telephone politely."

Selecting a specific action puts you in charge. You feel some control of the situation. You don't even need to do the action; just working it out gives you a stable datum and blows off the confusion.

For example, your finances are a mess. You do not know how much money you have or whom you owe. Your bills do not get paid on time. You are so worried and confused, you avoid the problem.

You take one minute and write down the following:

"1. Situation: My finances are a confused mess."

"2. Objective: Organize my finances so I pay my bills properly."

"3. Action Step: Before doing anything else, go to the bank and open a new checking account."

Suddenly, your head clears up. You no longer worry about the big confusion; you just focus on opening a new bank account. You select a stable datum and stop the confusion.

Any action step can act as the stable datum: "Buy a calculator." "Put all my bills in one folder." "Cut up my credit cards." The action step does not even need to be the BEST action step to erase the confusion; any action step or any stable datum is fine.

You have correctly selected a stable datum when you no longer feel confused.


* Working out a stable datum for the confusion helps you organize your thoughts.

* As soon as you have time to work on the project, you have a starting point. You can focus on one specific act, not a big cloudy mess.

* You feel less stress and more confidence.

* You feel motivated and energized to take action.

* You become smarter; you make better decisions.

* You are one step closer to your goals and ultimate success.

So what confusions are stopping your success?

Copyright © 2008 All rights reserved. Grateful acknowledgment is made to L. Ron Hubbard Library for permission to reproduce selections from the copyrighted works of L. Ron Hubbard.


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