Same old, same old. Same sh-t, different day. We say these things off handedly all the time. Nothing is different. Yeah, we try to think about each new day as a new beginning. A new chance to do things…differently. But we don’t, not really. We get bogged down in all sorts of things that just get in the way of seeing what’s new.
Especially the things close to us.
Especially the people in our lives, our jobs, our businesses, our products, our preconceptions about how things are. There’s a problem there you know. The problem that is the close cousin to Einstein’s famous quote “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” It’s that when we don’t stop to reflect and take a look at the world with new and fresh eyes, we miss things. We miss chances for success and to avoid failure. We miss the signs that people close to us might need something extra or have been doing something extraordinary. Here are a few images and animated GIFs that…well help illustrate the point:
This is what a microchip looks like magnified.
Water…bounces on itself.
Yeah. Exactly. You never knew.
Don’t assume. Question your assumptions. Start again.
I’m not approaching this exercise with things like listening to your inner child or imagine your staff as a special forces team preparing for battle. This is just merely asking yourself, “Am I missing anything?” “Are my assumptions still correct?” When was the last time you looked, really looked, at how you did something and asked if there might be a better way to do it. If you’re like most people, probably not terribly often. It’s normal, but not questioning is one of the first steps to getting into a rut.
Fine, you say, I need to look and at the world differently. Just how am I supposed to do that? Allow me to give you some inspiration: Sherlock Holmes
Questioning, deducting, analyzing, learning
Sherlock Holmes is receiving a new resurgence with the shows Elementary and Sherlock, both are excellent in their with own very different takes on the master of master detectives. There is something about the way Sherlock Holmes “knows” things that seems super human. It isn’t really. It’s a learned behavior. Maria Konnikova wrote a book recently Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes that once you start it, you’ll be amazed at what a new perspective on learning, listening, and watching can do for your own perspective. Stepping outside the current moment to notice things. Like in the image above, the water droplets bouncing on the surface of the water because of surface tension (and maybe if there was soap in the water it wouldn’t have). How a key opens a lock—and why it’s easy still to pick locks and even how it works—the pins rise up and down to finally align to allow the lock to turn.
First step to chance is asking
If you want to take the first step at looking at the world in a new way, to see if there is something that you’ve missed that is brilliant and wondrous (or dangerous and threatening), you need to now take the first step and look what you do and ask:
“Is this the right way, right path, right time?”
Then ask what Sherlock Holmes might say next.
The game is afoot.