SURVIVOR Super Fan

A blog to document my passion and ongoing efforts to be cast on Survivor


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If I had to earn a living with my hands…I would starve!

I can’t claim the title of this post as a quote of mine.  This one is from my father a highly successful business executive, and later in life, a business owner.  I do feel like I know where to point to when I note my own lack of “blue collar” genes.  As an IT sales person and a 15 year small business owner (as a science photo agent), I cannot point to my resume and find any shades of blue.  The fact that I can point to a resume definitely rules me out as a “no collar”!

I have long made my living with my mouth and my brain.  I have spent the better part of 23 years running a business, or selling in an office environment.  Until as recently as 2 years ago, I had never built something(successfully), grown something, moved things, or embraced the manual labor world.  No issue with it, it just wasn’t my thing as many of my friends could tell you. If I look back at Season 30: World’s Apart, where contestants were divided into 3 tribes based on their work background or lack thereof…  tt is hard to say that I related to any of the white collar folks.  I feel like they lacked the personable sales executive (this is what I believe I am).   A real people person.  Closest to this I would say was Carolyn.  She had some personality and had a successful game.  In a hyper environment where cast members are identified by collar type, I think it intensifies the stereotypes.  Blue people become the loudest form of themselves, and I imagine I would play right into the conflict that creates.  No collar people become…well…they are what they are.  Don’t understand them so I will not try to sum them up here.  I respect blue collar workers…don’t want to switch colors, but I can respect people that work that hard each and everyday.

At the end of the day, I know who I am.  I own it and I rather like it (whether other people like it or not is another story).  Blue collar folks work hard.  It is the working hard AND working smart that I think defines the white collar.  I would say that as a white collar I think outside the box, and a blue collar tends to try simply to move the box.  Applying this to the game of Survivor, I believe I approach a challenge by observing and listening to the instructions. However I tend to think of other ways to complete the needed tasks or to be successful.  Most people tend to follow the “rules” where I look at the needed outcome and try to think of creative and more efficient ways to achieve these goals.   Don’t get me wrong, I think I am plenty tough(again, I THINK).  I am not afraid to mix it up with anyone, but I will find an advantage…I always do.  I hope this doesn’t offend anyone as I truly appreciate all you bring to the world….and I may need your vote!

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Mirror, mirror on the wall…who’s your favorite Rob of all???

You can do a lot of research to prepare for Survivor, but many have said, ”you are who you are”. They even say you are an intensified version of yourself.  So going in, an advantage is to have some skills, some traits that are already you. You should go in recognizing skills that you already have, and attempt to bring them into your game play.  As a sales person, something that has always come naturally to me is: “Mirror & Match”. This is when you behave in a manner that helps listeners feel comfortable, and focus on the subject matter of the message without any distraction.  Think of it more like attempting to speak somebody’s native language, or observing local customs when visiting a foreign country.  Mirror and matching is extending a courtesy, by acting in a way that the listener wants you to act.

Five examples are listed below:

1: Physiology – Match their posture and physical mannerisms

2: Speech Rate – Speak at a similar speed and tempo

3: Volume – Speak as loudly, or as softly as them

4: Tonality & Pitch – Make your voice sound like their voice

5: Phrase backtracking – Restate their favorite words back to them

Now the above can be done by studying this concept before you hit the island, but it could come off as fake, or robotic.  But as a natural skill that I possess, I don’t think about it…it just happens.  The fun part is to imagine how I would do this with a slow talking Southerner, or someone from NYC.  I would not try to pull off all 5 with say… Fabio the surfer dude (winner of Survivor Nicaragua), but bits and pieces could go a long way.

It is a way to develop relationships by allowing the other person to have some source of comfort with you. On an island without your typical sources of comfort, people will take whatever little bit they can get. So employing this technique makes yourself someone that is easy to talk to, and most importantly… relatable.

 

 


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“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

The title of the post comes from J.K. Rowling, or should I say from Albus Dumbledore…This season, and recent seasons of Survivor, they continue to highlight choices.  Do I try to get an Immunity Idol during a challenge in front of everyone or  do I choose the puzzle with less pieces, but higher degree of difficulty.  The choices make for interesting events and variety in the game.  It highlights the differences in contestants and often creates tension and conflict.  It was tremendous television waiting to see if Kelley would make the choice and go for the idol at the immunity challenge. Just imagine Kelley got caught going for the idol!

So why do I dedicate a post to choices?  I think there are a myriad of choices made throughout the game and I think this is where the game can be won or lost..and I think I make good choices!  It is not that I think I always choose right and others choose wrong.  It is that I approach problems differently and don’t limit myself to the choices offered.  If offered A or B, I often identify C as a viable alternative.  Call it thinking outside the box, not caring if there is a box, or as I’ve been told – I simply don’t think the rules apply to me.  I tend to think of “rules” as “guidelines”.  I tend to step over the line in pursuit of options that meet my needs.

The title quote is known to millions of Harry Potter fans around the world.  Maybe after I play Survivor, the world will know my quote just as well…”You don’t know where the line is until you step over it and take a tiny step back.”