Permalink
Find file
Fetching contributors…
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
35 lines (25 sloc) 1.42 KB
<title>The challenge: Don't speak in future tense </title>
<p>
When I lived in Los Angeles, I noticed they have a strange speaking pattern.
</p><p>
<strong>Everyone speaks in future tense</strong>. (Or, more specifically, present-tense inaction, future-tense action.)
</p><p>
“This guy from EMI is interested and going to be presenting it to the VP.”
</p><p>
“We’re in talks to do a pilot for the fall.”
</p><p>
“I’m getting ready to work on some new material with a writer from Friends.”
</p><p>
Of course these are the things some people have to tell themselves to be hopeful when facing another day of challenges.
</p><p>
But of course nothing materializes. You never hear it mentioned again, and you politely don’t ask. (Surprising circumstances always foiled the certain event.)
</p><p>
I felt like wearing a t-shirt that says, “TELL ME WHEN IT’S ACTUALLY HAPPENING.”
</p><p>
So now <strong>when I hear a future-tense sentence, my ears shut down</strong>. I’ll say “cool!” and hope it helps, but I don’t believe a word.
</p><p>
Try noticing this in yourself and others for a week. Are you speaking more in future tense or present tense? Are they?
</p><p>
Remember that <a href="http://sivers.org/zipit">announcing your plans makes them less likely to happen</a>.
</p>
<img src="http://sivers.org/images/fortuneteller.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zilindreen/33215957/" />