Use Your Turn Signal

Sean McCool here …

Recently, I read an interesting article about SMOG. It’s an acronym for “Signal, Mirror, Over the shoulder, Go.”

These are the steps a driver should use when changing lanes.

However, most of us are using the opposite practice: MOSG or “Mirror, Over the shoulder, Signal, Go.” So when we change lanes during driving, we normally first make sure there’s an opening. If there is no space in the lane next to us, we don’t even bother to turn on the signal.

I know I do this when I drive.

But, if you signal first (SMOG), the cars in the other lane will normally make room for you. (Yes, I know some drivers will actually speed up and cut you off. But stick with me on this analogy.)

Reading the article, I realized MOSG is reactive. And SMOG is proactive. In SMOG, you create the intention of what you want to do, let people know about it, and then you achieve it. And that got me thinking of other areas where we have the option of being reactive or proactive.

In achieving what you want in life, which approach are you using?

I think most of us are reactive. At work, we tend to take on any tasks that come to us. Most of that work is for someone else’s plan … not our own.

We seldom think seriously about what we want to achieve in our career (and life) and what we need to do to make that happen. For example, if you want to become a writer, then you should plan your time accordingly. For instance, spending just 30 minutes a day writing over your lunch break signals to yourself and to the world you are serious about your new career. You could use that 30-minute block to start writing a spec piece or to start journaling … anything writing related will start the signal flashing.

When we were young, many of us wanted to be somebody. We flashed our signal bright and blew our horn loud to let the world know what or who we wanted to be. But as we grew up, we started to forget about that intention. We started watching other people’s signals and stopped making our own.

But it’s not too late.

Think about what you want to achieve. Make up your mind. Write about it. Read about it. And imagine it. Then signal it to the world.

Just be ready when the lane opens up.

If you wish to share it with me, you can post what you want to achieve below.

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Published: July 12, 2011

6 Responses to “Use Your Turn Signal”

  1. I intend to become a proficient online copywriter while continuing to enjoy writing novels (I am about to finish my second one.).

    LucilleJuly 12, 2011 at 5:54 pm

  2. Sean, excellent thoughts with this article.

    I'm making great progress in my quest to become a knowledgeable, masterful web copywriter as a springboard to becoming a self-help coach.

    Jerry BuresJuly 12, 2011 at 8:42 pm

  3. Thanks for the insights, Sean. I 'm writing copy every day about food and wine, much of it online, and I am writing more about natural perfumery and jewelry, two of my other interests.

    Life is good. (Now I just need clients!)

    gluten-free gourmandJuly 12, 2011 at 11:55 pm

  4. Hi, I find your motivational e-mails helpful, even though my goal is to be a classic model.

    Guest (Carolyn)July 13, 2011 at 9:10 am

  5. Good stuff! I've been using the wrong turn signal for a long time. I recently began putting this into practice and focusing more on my career not just plugging away for someone else. I understand the "take on any tasks that come to us." I'm working to reduce that. Thanks for the clarification.

    Shawn MausJuly 22, 2011 at 11:28 am


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