Everyone is running life at their own speed. I call it Lifespeed. Lifespeed, taken as a whole – with every variable factored into it would be a number that represents how fast a person is able to accomplish things that are necessary in each area of life.
In looking at your whole life obviously, there are thousands of areas you could figure out for yourself – and you could have a rating for everything from having sex, to driving a car, to making lunch, to playing computer games, to accomplishing whatever it is you do for work. There would be thousands of equations like the one below, each of them focused on attributes within the area of life you’re hoping to measure.
We’ll focus on the last one – your Lifespeed at work and what the major factors are influencing your work and how successful (fast) you can accomplish things at work just based on a few attributes.
Lifespeed at work is found by estimating (it’s always an estimate) a person’s brilliance and speed at which they process work-related information. My examples will deal with those that work with computers daily – as I know there are many of you that read this blog. You might be a programmer, a web developer, a sales rep – or something else – but, whatever you are – you work with the computer a few hours per day.
Stated more simply – it’s the attributes above rated on a score of 1-10 and averaged out. Brilliance gets it’s own half of the equation because it is a very strong and determining variable.
A person with a high Lifespeed average for work-related tasks is an incredible person to associate yourself within the business world. They can be role models for efficiency and getting things done. They are the workplace’s gamemasters.
You may not be able to increase your brilliance – and I have a funny feeling that not many of you reading this blog need to either. You’re plenty smart. But, you can increase the other variables that have an effect on Lifespeed at work. Reading, typing, and speaking rates could all be improved upon… comprehending might be a rather static variable though.
More about how to come up with Lifespeed rank in a bit.
I’ve met people flying through life on warp-speed that were so wrapped up in their own world – and so efficient at taking in, digesting, and spitting out complex information that there was nobody that could keep up with them. They’re like mutants… They might excel at work-related issues.
One such person I know like this is a guy I worked for once, Cheyenne. He’s not just moving fast… he’s brilliant AND flying through life on warp speed. He is at the edge of the speed of life – nobody could go faster – only at the same blistering pace. Nobody could talk faster, type faster, read faster or apply what he-she knows faster.
Now – there are brilliant people like Cheyenne warping through life so blazing fast he’s turning water in the air to hydrogen and oxygen for the rest of us to breathe and, there are not so brilliant people doing the same. Those that are ultra-fast and not so brilliant are those that are flying through the bits and pieces of life. I call them, scrappers.
Scrappers are street smart – like maybe pimps or successful drug dealers. They’re not slipping through Google’s algorithmic slush – they’re connecting this user u that drug d for free t number of times, to create x recurring daily cash flow. They’re the ones slipping well-planned stakeouts and whacking thieving employees down the distribution chain that took more than their cut. Scrappers excel in their little world – doing whatever it is they do. It’s not of national or worldwide importance – it’s their own little niche that they rule and are quite good at it.
So each of us has a speed we’re chugging through life at. The range of speed doesn’t begin at slow…. On the low end of life-speed is “reverse”. My soccer coach in high school used to tell us that Chuck Jarvis was so slow he was running in reverse. It was true. I don’t know how he did it, but he literally went nowhere and ended up further back from where he started. You might know someone like this. I don’t know Chuck anymore, but the rumor is he inherited his father’s morgue. Seriously. Another of coach’s favorite things to yell at Chuck was that he runs like a “dead man”. That also, unfortunately, was true.
Besides having a mortician father, other factors that might throw someone into reverse mode are mental illness like schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder or depression and other mental quirks like attention deficit disorder (ADD), dyslexia, or expressive aphasia. No matter what life speed the person might run at without these factors, they are going to be set back seriously and sometimes thrown into reverse.
Similarly, there are personality traits that can keep one from reaching maximum Lifespeed in any area very often. It’s safe to say that you must be operating at a very high level of functioning in all areas of your life in order to keep hitting your maximum Lifespeed. Everything affects the speed you’re cruising through life. Emotional, physical, and spiritual problems can affect us all – effectively dampening the Lifespeed levels we’re capable of.
I mentioned a few of Cheyenne’s traits… he speaks fast, types fast, reads fast, and answers questions before the poor slob (me) gets them out of my mouth. He speaks so fast that the physical parts of his body are playing catch up all the time with what his mind is commanding them to do. He’s tripping over his tongue because 600 words per minute of speech is at the threshold of skin, muscle, and fast-twitch nerve fiber in his diaphragm, tongue, and mouth.
Cheyenne typed 50 words per minute on a handheld T-Mobile QWERTY Sidekick phone back in 2002. With JUST HIS THUMBS. On the computer where he could use all his fingers the sound of him hitting the keys was as if they were one noise – not separated by pauses. It was ridiculously fast. I stood behind him as he was showing me something on the computer – and he typed in a couple of urls that were long – and that seemed to just appear magically on the screen. I’m not joking. The guy is running at absolute life speed.
Enough about Cheyenne. There are other types of people in the world too, the rest of us fall into that group. Even Einstein.
Einstein was brilliant – but, he physically he appeared to be moving at turtle-speed. His brilliance was at 10. His typing speed? No idea. He was on a manual typewriter at the time so I’m guessing he couldn’t have done more than 40 wpm. That must have been a respectable speed back then but today it’d be about a level 6. His Lifespeed was slowed down by the technology of his era. Pity him, eh?
I’m sure he read fast enough – let’s give him a 9. Nobody talked about his extraordinary reading or typing speed – I couldn’t find it when Googled. His speech was slow, cautious. His comprehension of incoming data was probably an overall 10.
Einstein’s overall Lifespeed? 9.4b
Here’s how to go about figuring out lifespeed in the workplace.
Say your brilliance is unchallengeable. You have an IQ of 150+ on the WAIS or similar assessment. We’ll call that a 10.
Your typing speed is 120 words per minute, a 10.
Your reading speed is 600 wpm, a 10.
Your comprehension is, like Cheyenne’s – a 10, and you’re answering questions before they’re done being asked because you already know the question and have already analyzed it and found the best answer.
Your speaking rate is fast, your moving parts can’t keep up with your data center. You’re a 10 here too.
So, plugging these into the equation we have
[brilliance (10/2) = 5
[typing 10 + reading 10 + talking 10 + comprehension 10] all divided by 8.
so, 5 + (40/8)
= 5 + 5 = 10
You have an equally high score on the brilliance and speed sides of the equation (10 vs. 10) so you get both designators
Lets say instead that you are an average typist and reader and get 5’s for each of those speed variables. The equation would look like this:
Brilliance 10/2 = 5
[5 + 5 + 10 + 10] all divided by 8
5 brilliance plus 3.75 speed = 8.75
5 versus 3.75 shows brilliance is dominant.
so the score is: 8.75b
We don’t put an s for speed because it’s not the dominant side of the equation. If both sides are equal we can use both b and s indicators, if not – then just use the dominant one.
Everyone with me?
What type of people can get the most done in the workplace?
Not necessarily those with a Lifespeed of 10bs. If they surround themselves with Lifespeed 4s then they’re likely not going very far very fast. If surrounded by other 9bs’s or 10bs’s then they might be on top of the world.
You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. I noticed while in graduate school when I was surrounded by brilliant classmates and professors I was able to use my full Lifespeed to get things done…
Everyone understood my ideas and I was able to assimilate others’ great ideas into my ideas. It was an atmosphere of flow – like a subworld of optimal flow and growth. I was well-matched in that world. I could have done amazing things in that space… instead I didn’t accept the Psychology Doctorate offer from Florida Institute of Technology and went fingers first into computers, operating systems, networking, internet marketing, and such.
If you aren’t surrounded by people that are operating at about the same Lifespeed then one of two things needs to happen – you adjust, or they adjust. If you have 2 people in your organization that are Lifespeed 9 and 10bs’ers and you and the rest of your clan are at Lifespeed 5 or 6 you’re going to have to bring the two brainiacs down to earth. Otherwise, the team isn’t meshing.
You have likely seen this in your workplaces in the past. There’s always someone that’s so far ahead of the rest of the group that they talk as if they’re on another planet. The person might be a programmer, salesperson, marketing person, or CEO or VP. They don’t understand they’re different and so they talk to everyone else at the same level – and get little accomplished.
Here’s how to figure out where you rank on the various attributes necessary to computer your Lifespeed.
Brilliance – Only the WAIS-R or other standardized IQ test is really of any worth. Don’t bother with internet IQ tests that are not.
150IQ+ = 10; 140+ = 9; 130+ = 8; 120+ = 7; 110+ = 6; 100 = 5; 90 = 4; 80 = 3. I don’t think anyone lower could read this article.
Typing Speed – Here is a horribly difficult typing test filled with unfamiliar and nonsense words. The cool thing is you can correct your errors and keep typing. If you use this – correct all errors and then note your score. I did 63 words at 100% accuracy. But, I DON’T like this test as I couldn’t type naturally – I’ve not typed many of those words before in my life.
If, on the computer with 100% accuracy you type 10 words per minute (wpm) give yourself a 1.
20+ wpm = 2; 25+ wpm = 3; 30+ wpm = 4; 35+ wpm = 5; 40+ wpm = 6; 50+ wpm = 7; 60+ wpm = 8; 75+ wpm = 9; 100+ wpm = 10
Reading speed test – Average reading speed is just under 200 wpm for Americans reading English. If you can do this speed, give yourself a 5.
40+ wpm = 1; 70+ wpm = 2; 110+ wpm = 3; 150+ = 4; 200+ = 5; 250+ = 6; 300+ = 7; 350+ = 8; 400+ = 9; 450+ = 10.
These last two attributes are pretty ambiguous and will be entirely subjective, but worth mentioning. If you’re in a career field where you don’t really comprehend what’s going on – you’re not going to be flying through it.
If your rate of speech is like a South Carolinian talking about crops this season – you’re not speaking at optimal computer-environment speeds in the workplace.
Speed of comprehension – related to business topics. You’ll have to give yourself an estimate here. Base it on how well you comprehend issues at work – whatever it is that you do. This will be the least fact-based attribute, but you could increase the accuracy by asking your co-workers to rate you on a 1-10 scale.
Speed of talking – again, at work and talking about issues related to your job. You could self-rate and estimate or record yourself while talking to a co-worker about some aspect of your work. Play it back. Type it out. Paste it into Google docs, Word, or something else that counts words. 196 is average. If you speak at 400 nobody would understand you. The optimal fast rate of speech is around 250 wpm. That should be a 10. 300 wpm might be 8. 100 might be a 4. The rating is highly subjective and of course, is only a tool for your to gauge how effectively and quickly you’re able to communicate about work topics.
What did you get?
I’m about an 8.75b. I’ve read a lot of books over the years and love reading – naturally my reading score was high. I took typing classes in high school because computers were becoming a big thing and I saw the value in it. I’ve had about 10 years of typing practice now – and can type relatively fast.
I don’t speak fast anymore, having lived in Thailand for four years, but that would come back if I wanted it to – not sure I do.
Basically, this gives you an idea of your Lifespeed. You can also use it to compare yourself to others. It might be an eye-opener to you. If you have a 10bs score you could contribute substantially to whatever company or project you’re working on – if only others could understand what you’re talking about.
You can work to increase your reading speed, typing speed, and even rate of talking if you wanted to increase your value to the company you work for or, to yourself. If you’re working online or with the computer a lot – the value of increasing your reading and typing speeds should be obvious.
Best of Life!
Photo: Clearly Ambiguous at Flickr