The 27 / 37 Plan
So let me give you some real life examples of how this stuff works.
My own story, I call The 27 / 37 Plan. By the time I was twenty-seven, I’d had thirty-seven different jobs. So my truth was, I don’t last very long on any given job.
It was causing all kinds of tension in my family. My dad was going nuts. He had worked at the same job for forty years. So he couldn’t understand it. He kept telling me, “Get a job at the post office. Do something where you’re going to be in one place for a long time.”
But that’s not quite the way it worked out for me. Even though my dad had been at his job longer than I’d been alive, for some reason, I had the idea that jobs don’t last long.
If you have thirty-seven jobs by the time you are twenty-seven, you have to start fairly young. I had my first job when I was only six years old. It may have only been a short-term job, but I started to develop a track record that I was only in a job a short time. Before long, I developed a pattern. And that pattern was my guideline-my Action Map. It looked like this: I would only stay at a job for six months. It didn’t matter if it was a temporary job, a permanent job, a summer job, or a long-term job. Typically, it would last about six months, then I was gone.
So once I was on a job for six months, how do you think I would respond? Well, on the first day of the seventh month, I would know something was wrong! Things were not up to par. Something had gone awry.
And then, I’d respond in such a way that I would correct for the error of being there for longer than six months. I’d have to quit or I’d get fired or something unforeseen would happen-except it wouldn’t be unforeseen to me. I would’ve expected it. Things were going along as usual.
Pretty soon, my subconscious process charted out an Action Map for me. So every time I would look for a job, the jobs that would “feel right” were those that probably weren’t going to last much more than six months. And when they didn’t, my whole worldview would be validated. I could explain it quite easily: “I only keep jobs for about six months. I knew this wasn’t going to last.” All’s right with the world.
I remember my parents calling me up one day and saying, “Hey Jim, where are you working now?” When I told them where I was working, they said, “Hey, you’ve been there longer then six months. What happened?” Something was off. They wanted to let me know that. They were looking at their own memories of me and I didn’t quite match. I seemed to be off-course. So they were quick to point out the differences-not intentionally to have me lose my job, but to maintain the reality of their beliefs about me.
And do you know what happened? Within two weeks, I was fired. I wanted the job, but I had my reasons why it didn’t last. Jobs never lasted more than six months anyway, for me. That was my reason for not getting the result I wanted. I was sticking to what I believed about myself.
And, of course, I told myself that it was not my fault. Things happen. I couldn’t be blamed for it. I was not the one who was accountable for what was happening to me. Surely, no one could think that!
I found fault with everything else around me. Why? Because my truth was that I didn’t last at a job for very long. I didn’t stay on longer than six months. So I had to find fault in other people. Surely, I couldn’t be deliberately losing my job every time. I mean, how crazy would that be? And yet I did it over and over again on The 27 / 37 Plan. It worked very efficiently.
A great book to help you change your belief about work is Power to Change: You Always Have a Choice.