Are you challenging your own views on things? Have you taken time to give your own perspective a second thought? Maybe it’s time to broaden your view on the world!
“The more we narrow the definition of beauty, the more beauty we shut out of our lives.” – Jim C. Hines
That quote appears in a fantasy novel. In this particular section of the book, one of the main characters is thinking about the other characters in the book. This sentence intrigues me for several reasons. First, I think it is true. Second, it reflects a chicken or the egg puzzle. Did the author craft this part of the story to make this point, or did the author have this thought while crafting this part of the story?
We may never know, but just like the chicken and the egg, we get to enjoy both. We can appreciate the story, and we can appreciate the egg. The third reason this sentence intrigues me is because it gets at a very important point about our lives. We live day to day from our own perspective. Our view of the world is unique to ourselves. If we are not aware of the limits within our reality, then we are not aware of our potential. We limit ourselves. I find it important to always challenge our own thinking.
I did not expect to find this quote in this book. Many people probably have read that sentence and not spent time thinking about the implication. But it is a great example of what we can find when we take the time to pause, become aware, listen, and think. It also shows us that not all great ideas have to come from a textbook, or a professor. There are lessons all around us. As I have mentioned in the past, I have learned a lot from my bad decisions.
1. Lack of Knowledge. It is difficult to make a decision when you are not informed. Decisions become a coin toss. You win some. You lose some. I have made continuous study and education part of my normal day. And I try and ask questions if I don’t know, and even if I think I do!
2. Lack of Experience. Practice counts. It is that simple. My results, decisions, performance, all improve when I put in the work. Experts don’t become experts without real experience. Just because I feel like I know what I am doing doesn’t mean I’m ready to operate without a net.
3. Overconfidence. When I become over confident I make mistakes. Humility helps me seek to become better. When we don’t prepare because we are confident, we can get blindsided. My system is simple: always be open to learning and growing.
4. Lack of Discipline. I hope I am not the only person that struggles with this. There are times when I know I should be doing one thing, and I end up spending time doing something else. What works best for me is to change necessary tasks into habits. Do something every day for 21 days, and it will become easier to do. If it’s not something you do consistently, it’s not a habit. And if it’s not a habit, you’re more likely to make a mistake.
5. Not Knowing Myself. Sometimes decisions that go bad are because we don’t like the place the decision leads us. Your gut sends you messages—listen to it! I know that when I can weigh my options against my values it brings a sense of clarity. My values will help me discern between short term desires and long term benefits. I need to know myself well.
Not every choice we make will turn out bad but if it does, it will surely cost you. Maybe not monetarily but in other ways, such as time and energy. We must be willing to learn and adapt to new perspectives if we wish to succeed. Maybe mine will help you navigate through your own!