Kev, You said on the webinar that the world is becoming divided into conservative and liberal camps. What shocked me was that you said that these groups are disliking each other more than at any time in history and that they even shop at different stores. The interviewer didn’t give you time to elaborate. Can you do that in your next Q and A.
25 years ago, urban voters (people who live in cities) identified themselves, 51% as liberals, 37% as conservatives. Today 62% liberals and 31% conservatives. This is 2:1! First fewer people are independent/libertarian today. Conservatives have left the cities and there is no sign that this trend is stopping. This means of course that rural America should becoming more conservative and the numbers show that is true. 25 years ago rural America was evenly split 45% liberal, 44% conservative. No more. Today 54% of rural America is conservative and 37% is liberal.
So these two groups don’t want to even live near the other.
But it gets crazier. Liberals decorate their homes with art while conservatives are more inclined to have flags or clocks.
Clocks are REALLY important to conservatives.
(For example: When I have an appointment with a client, the phone will ring at 1 PM. Not 1:07 PM. Not 12:53 PM. 1 PM. Most of my clients will apologize if they are more than a minute early or late. And if they are more than 10 minutes late, they know the chances I will take a call are only about a coin flip.)
The core personality trait of conservatives is conscientiousness. You work hard, keep your commitments. Liberals prefer to redistribute wealth. Almost always. Conservatives want to be able to keep what they have earned and determine freely how they will spend their money. Conservatives want education that support math. They like to keep track of things.
Conservatives are more likely to go to Dunkin Donuts and liberals to Starbucks. (I like them both.)
Meanwhile liberals are open to new experiences whether it’s drugs or a new job. Good or bad, openness to new experience reduces self control and self regulation which all but guarantees the liberals ability to generate revenue on a long term basis is much smaller than a conservative.
That predicts that conservatives are likely to be more in need of controlling uncertainty and that turns out to be the case. Similarly conservatives promote inequality (you don’t need minimum wage if you produce more value, you get paid more and less gets you less). Liberals would like everyone to work or not but all share equally in the pie whether they helped bake it or not.
Conservatives don’t like change. They need order, are drawn to structure, decisiveness and closure.
Liberals as young children tend to be identified by their teachers as self-reliant, energetic, emotionally expressive, gregarious, and impulsive. By contrast, those children who later identified as conservative were seen as: rigid, inhibited, indecisive, fearful, and over controlled. These traits seem to be at least largely heritable and not simply cultural within a family or community.
For the purposes of persuasion in 2021, everyone is going to need to learn how to quickly distinguish between conservatives and liberals and learn to speak their language and understand their philosophy. Agreement is not critical. Understanding why people think and feel what they feel and handling those thoughts and feeling respectfully will lead the way to more effective communication.
Kev, People hate their lives or a lot of different parts of their lives. For people who look at today and don’t want to be stuck there forever what
should they do?
It’s often good to hire a consultant, someone
who gets paid to cause you to do behaviors
either through scheduling your world,
giving you specific actions to take (and
that means you know factually this person has a
track record), have ONE FRIEND who
understands your challenges, your past,
your efforts, your weaknesses and strengths,
and work with this person to help you leverage
the right tools. Make sure you ask people
to help you with their areas of expertise.
(Don’t ask me about how to fix a car.)
Ask people to help you make those changes
and then recognize that things will take time
so you want to record what you are DOING
and then MEASURE the results. Do not
expect today’s actions to pay off today or
even next week. It takes time to have a baby.
It often takes almost no time to make one.
Don’t simply piss and moan about unfair
something is. Nothing in life is fair. Not taxes,
not the government, not the law, not how
people treat you when you don’t deserve it.
It’s there. Live with it until you break free
and you will break free as you break the chains
which will take work. Do it UNTIL.
Get help. One person to begin with.
8) How long does it really take for a person to
change? What do you see when change is
When change is present, real change you see
irritated friends and families because change
doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it happens in the
context of friends and families who are not
changing at the rate you are. So people are
going to be upset with you and you might be
surprised they don’t like the changes as much
as you think they will. You were hoping they’d
be proud and in the change process they probably
You will feel stressed in change.
Example: You have a 9 – 5 job. You want to be
an entrepreneur. That business with a great
project and plan TODAY will take 9 – 12 months
to begin to see fruit if you put in 1000 hours
this year. That’s on top of your 9 – 5 and you do not
want to leave your 9 -5 until you are stable in
your 1000 hour (this year) project which will
ideally become a long term project so you can
leave 9 – 5. Other life changes are similar.
Relationships can end today but the myriad of
interconnections between you and that person,
friends, family, no one has the rules to make that
happen so there will be lots of bumps. Big bumps.
Most things take longer than people are hoping.
Get a great consultant it will happen faster. But
always be real. Quality time in = Quality Result Out.
3) You always say that “behavior replicates.”
It seems cynical to say this. Aren’t we simply
assigning blame to other people for their failure in
life? Is everyone innately the same forever?
Not only do people’s current behaviors tend to
replicate but their friends behaviors are replicated
by you as well far more often than you would have
without the influence (for better and worse).
People CHANGE the person they live with, whether
the changes are good or bad or both.
Change is rarely fun, or easy. It’s work, and effort
is required even when the status quo is a disaster.
Breaking chains takes time.
You should assume other’s behaviors will replicate
until they CONVINCE you they won’t because of a
list of things they are DOING, that have been
MEASURED and that OBSTACLES have been
calculated and that there is a good reason the plan
10) You always say to change your environment and
the people in it. This stress me out. You’ve spent
a lot time in Poland and Bulgaria, you’ve lived there.
What changes good or bad will you tell us about?
What was it like for you to be the person who was
new to the environment, especially in Bulgaria where
you didn’t have the support you had in Poland?
I am just like you. I get stressed out in big change
situations. One of the things that makes a big
difference for me is a temperate and spacious
living space. In need square feet (square meters)
and I need a cool environment to work/live in.
Fortunately I can make sure those things typically
But when I go into the store in for groceries in Poland
and all I see is food I can’t eat (pork, etc.) I do get
uncomfortable. You revert back to survival mode
(bring home the blueberries and other fruit!). You
lose weight. Traveling to Poland is always good for
my waistline. I eat the Jewish diet, if you will and it’s
a catholic country. And because it matters, it’s a
definite point of discomfort. But yes, I do have support
in Poland I don’t have elsewhere Europe.
In Bulgaria, the store clerks weren’t always as kind
as I’d like them to be and my Bulgarian/Russian skills
amounted to about one word per day. After awhile
I could read a sign or a few words as well as greet
people, say thanks, goodbye. All of that is tough. I
have a lot of empathy for people who come to the
U.S. and think they know english only to discover
they will understand half of what is said on average,
if they are lucky.
My time in Eastern Europe and living a very, very
different lifestyle was fascinating. It was typically
uncomfortable and I have nothing but gratitude
that I had a chance to do both. You learn alot about
yourself, your nation or citizenship vs. other countries
and cultures. You begin to see a lot of good in your
nation and a lot of bad that you didn’t see before.
People also respect you more when they know you
have “been around” and aren’t simply talking about
circumstances from one kind of life.
If you want to grow, be better, you have to change
your physical environment, the people in your
environments, a person in your environment.
Some things in your environment are very good
for you long term. Others are bad for you long
term. It’s not easy to measure who has what
impact on you.
And you are right humans blame others for all kinds of
things that happen to us and shape us as people.
And that isn’t necessary. People are who they are
and they are not likely to want to be changing at all.
Remember as change happens to THEM stress happens
to them AND YOU.
It’s not necessary to blame a person for the impact
they have on you. You can simply begin to distance yourself
from certain people and engage others.
I went through a massive search a few times in life
for finding the right people to work with, live with, love with,
you name it. And those relationships can go from fair to good
and from great to poor over time. Sometimes there is “fault”
and sometimes there is no fault. Ultimately it doesn’t matter.
What matters is you will live once. You will have some people
who make you have a better (that is not the same as stressless)
life. A better life is more reward, more fulfillment, more
But there’s no need to blame people. If necessary, as in a
marriage, “I need to be with someone who wants to
take me camping every weekend.” That’s fair. Probably
should have talked about that on day one, but if you don’t
or can’t do that and it’s a deal breaker then you break the deal.
Life isn’t fair. Relationships aren’t fair. Circumstances do
change. But blame, doesn’t have to enter into the picture
and can be dismissed fairly quickly.