Who is to say that the way you originally learned something is the best way? How many people grow up learning one way of thinking or one way of doing things, but it might not necessarily be the best way for them? I once read that 78% of America does not move farther than 15 miles from the house they grew up in. That means most of America is following similar traditions and perspectives they learned from their parents, who learned from their parents, and so on. I love tradition and family, but at the same time I have moved and traveled the country and learnt a lot from viewing things in different perspectives and from different viewpoints of others.
I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin…less than 10,000 people. Growing up my parents bought cars and shopped at the same stores their parents did and you followed a tradition with most everything you did from shopping to following the same sports teams, and getting the same education as everyone else.
If you don’t expose yourself to different perspectives you become consumed with your old beliefs and without even realizing it you rarely switch your mindset. We adopt a philosophy or strategy based on simply what we have been exposed to without knowing if it’s the optimal way to do things.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a fan of the Green Bay Packers since I was a young kid and still believe they can win every game they play, but that could hurt me if I was betting money on them if they are playing the top team in the league or I was trying to convince someone they are the best team in the world…..as they may not necessarily agree with me or see things from the same perspective.
I once read a theory called shoshin, which means “beginner’s mind. Shoshin refers to the idea of letting go of your preconceptions and having an attitude of openness when learning something. Kids learn stuff much faster than we do as adults because they don’t have as much of a preconceived notion on something. How many times do we as adults not try something because we don’t want to and nobody is forcing us to try anything now that we are free and living outside our parents’ home? I still to this day cannot stand fresh tomatoes…I don’t know why and I even try to force myself to eat some on a sandwich but I never ate them as a kid and my parents never forced me to so for some reason I get queasy just touching them.
However, perspective is a funny thing. If I am flying on an airplane 10,000 miles in the sky you tend to think differently with a different perspective. When I fly I don’t know why but I always order a glass of tomato juice. Again, I abhor Tomatoes and almost never in my life drink tomato juice unless I am flying? I simply cannot explain it but Tomato juice is my go to drink of choice……only when I am flying.
Again, it all comes down to your perspective. I am much more open to newer things when flying because your mind has a completely different viewpoint or perspective on it. You see growth in life is not automatic, it has to be your choice and it is fully your responsibility. I am a parent of three kids, but before those kids were born I had no clue what it took to be a parent or even how to do it. However, 4 years into this venture I feel like I am learning every single day, and getting better at it….but I have no choice I have to learn and grow as a parent….. Because my wife and kids are depending on me to.
However, what are you doing in your life to grow and get better at something that you are not forced to? A mind stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. This simply means that new thoughts or experiences change our minds and change our perspectives.
Each day brings new possibilities if you let them flow into your life with an open mind and open perspective. I have met many people and encountered many ideas over the past four years, many of them through my children. However, I can assure you that even the smallest encounters have changed me because I allow them to by using a different perspective. If my kids are watching Tarzan on TV I could simply zone out and let it play in the background, or I could watch with childlike wonder and actually see there is a meaning behind every interaction and my kids are actually getting a life lesson through the movie. In movies days and years go by in minutes, and relationships or interactions seem important in the moment…but in our life someone you meet today could wind up being a huge business opportunity years from now. However, how you treat that person or that situation makes all the difference in winning the moment for your future self….today!
Treat every interaction you have with others and everything you see or hear today as it WILL impact your future self…or others futures. You have no idea how much a kind gesture can help others. As the great Zig Ziglar said “You can have everything you want in life, if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
Get out there and take that extra 42 seconds to say hello with enthusiasm or ask someone how their day is going….and truly mean it. Keep an open mind that every event or interaction could impact your life and others in a big way someday. Volunteer to help out, go that networking meeting, or make that extra phone call or email…….as you never know what lies right around the corner to help you Win the Day!