“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
– Albert Einstein
We’ve become a society raised on convenience, expediency and expected outcomes. That applies both to our businesses and in our personal lives. While it’s nifty to have information at our fingertips, we’ve forgotten that our outcomes are often the result of preconceived expectations based on our individual perspectives.
When it works, it can be comforting. But when it doesn’t, we’re caught off-guard. We need to shake things up a bit. Shift our perspective and our expectations.
When we do that successfully, we’re able to create new realities that are often more in rewarding than following a preconceived path.
For example, take a simple thing like getting from here to there. With GPS and fancy NAV systems, people don’t get lost these days. Make a wrong turn and the little voice in the app will autocorrect until you’re back on track. Convenient little gadget, but at the same time, when you follow a pre-determined course, you miss discovering new realities that can change your perspective about the world around you.
We fall into routines. Take the same roads to work every day, and you barely notice the world around you. You’re surrounded by sameness. Take a new road and your perspective changes. You see the world in a different light. Discover things you never saw before.
The same holds true for us as business owners. We’ve created our own realities, but what’s reality to us, may not be reality for our customers, our employees or even our families and colleagues. We each have our own. As Anais Nin said, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” It’s a matter of perspective.
Maybe it’s time we shake loose from things we take for granted, and ‘automatic’ thinking. Shift our focus. Seek out different perspectives that can change our realities for the better. For example:
- When someone becomes an overnight success, don’t shake your head and wonder how they did it. Instead, remember how many years of hard and struggle it took to achieve it.
- We listen intently when we go into a business meeting or a sales call. Don’t want to miss a thing. Instead, remember that the most important thing about listening is the ability to ‘hear’ what isn’t being said.
- We strive to give our customers and what they need. Instead, remember is that more often than not, people buy what they want. Sometimes we need to show them the difference to close a sale.
- We’re trained to believe the most important thing employees want is a paycheck, but times have changed. Remember that today a sense of belonging, a feeling of progress and appreciation is more valuable. Be generous.
- As owners, managers and people in power positions, we believe we must provide all the answers; but remember, our true power lies in asking the right questions.
The ability to shift our thoughts to see things from a different point of view can be challenging or it can be fun. These 15 quotes provide food for thought.
- “When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute — and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.” -Albert Einstein
- “The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.” – Ivy Baker Priest
- “Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.” – Richard Brinsley Sheridan
- “In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty.” – Imbesi’s Conservation of Filth Law
- “Do not call any work menial until you have watched a proud person do it.” – Robert Brault
- “Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds” – George Santayana
- “Is the glass half empty, half full, or twice as large as it needs to be?” – Author Unknown
- “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” – Abraham Maslow
- “It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall.” – Mexican Proverb
- “Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision.” – Stevie Wonder
- “It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem.” – G.K. Chesterton
- “What was most significant about the lunar voyage was not that men set foot on the moon but that they set eye on the earth.” – Norman Cousins
- “The things which are most important don’t always scream the loudest.” – Bob Hawke
- “No man but feels more of a man in the world if he have but a bit of ground that he can call his own. However small it is on the surface, it is four thousand miles deep; and that is a very handsome property.” – Charles Dudley Warner
- “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” – Peter Drucker
I hope I’ve provided a little good for thought. So get your creative juices going and see how reality changes as your perspective does.