Do something different, for a change!
I’m reflecting back on this week and on this year, being another year older. What have I learnt?
My big take away for the moment is this: A change of context is the quickest way to change your thinking. Do you remember me loosing my car recently (shaken, not stirred)? I had a different replacement vehicle for a few weeks. And I mean completely different. A fraction of the size and power and a very different driving experience. The strangest thing is that it completely changed the way I thought about things. It altered my perspective, and if you drove it and experienced its (non-)braking capabilities, you’d know why. I’m back with my own car now, but my attitude to driving and my habits have changed.
Effecting personal change can be tough, especially if it involves creating good new habits or trying to break bad old ones. Be it habits of doing or of thinking, sometimes, if you want to change, the easiest thing to do is to start by changing your point of view. A different point of view creates a fresh perspective. That different perspective shifts your thinking, and destabilizes old habits by creating fresh new thought patterns. When using ThinkingRock, I have found that when I get stuck breaking down or planning projects, printing out the project reports and going somewhere else with a paper and pen helps me get unstuck. I now even have a specific thinking and planning place, just going there gets my planning and mission juices going. Keeping a context seems to be a good way to support (good) new habits.
Changing the context can completely break a habit or a stuck thought. Addicted to the Internet? Change context. Go to a place that has no Internet for a week or two. Less extreme, try changing where you spend your time or even just changing the colour of a room. It can be a fantastically effective way to loosen your mind up enough to make those big planned changes. From now on, if I am struggling to make a change, I’ll start by changing something else! Do something different, to create a change.
What Atticus Finch said about standing in someone else’s shoes in To Kill A Mockingbird has always stayed with me. It was meant in the context of understanding a person by considering things from their point of view. It can also help getting unstuck with a problem or resolving an issue.
That makes me think of the old advice: “before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, they are a mile away and you have their shoes.” Sorry, I couldn’t resist! More seriously, it seems that in understanding others more, we end up understanding more of ourselves. The power of perspective.
[…] so often I like to do something different for a change. Learning new skills and meeting new people keeps you young and flexible. With that in mind, I […]