Have you ever gotten so used to doing something that you stop thinking about how or why you’re doing it? BTW – this is another one of my ‘linear thinking‘ posts.
I’m sure there’s a scientific name for it but I’m too tired to look it up right now…sorry.
How many of you are stuck in a rut in your life and/or business and just doing the same thing over and over and over. Ever thought about why?
Maybe it’s because you haven’t been keeping your eyes open to see things changing.
Take this little story as an example…
A few weeks ago I’m driving to the local target. I decided to go a back way through neighborhoods rather than the main road. I get up to one of the main roads that I have to cross to get to the target and hit a red light.
This particular intersection is fairly new. In the past, you could only turn left or right at this intersection, but about three months ago a new road was opened that allowed you to go straight through this intersection.
I planned to go straight as it was a shorter route to get into the Target parking lot.
Now…this particular light is extremely long. It felt as if I sat there forever waiting for the light to turn. I also noticed that the car behind had their right turn blinker on. And the car behind them did too. Oh well…that’s the way life is right? Always stuck behind the guy going straight when you want to turn right.
While waiting I heard a horn honk. Sounded like it came from behind me.
So I rolled my window down…and heard the horn again as well as someone screaming and looked in my mirror and noticed it was the driver behind me.
He was yelling at me and honking his horn.
Can you believe that?
He was screaming at me.
Then…he opened his car door and started getting out. Wow.
OK then. I’m not going to be caught sitting in my car while some crazy dude is standing outside my window.
So I got out of my car. Probably not the safest thing to do but I did it.
He was walking toward my car screaming to me. He was saying “turn man turn”.
What? I’m going straight across I tell him. I also pointed at my blinker and politely said ‘do you see a blinker?’.
And…I may have yelled it. And…I may have said a few other choice words that can’t be repeated here. And I may have called him something that wasn’t polite. I may have also told him to get back in his car or he’d be getting into an ambulance in 3 minutes. Might have been bad of me to say…but, he started it
His response was “oh…you can go straight? I didn’t know that”.
While he was walking back to his car, he was apologizing and trying to ‘make nice’ with me while also saying “I’ve driven this road a couple times a day for two years and didn’t realize you could go straight.”
Lessons from this story?
Its an easy one.
That man, who almost got himself in some trouble, was so sure that he was right that he was willing to risk his health (and his life?) to get out of his car and scream at an unknown person in a car in front of him.
According to him, he’d been through that intersection multiple times over two years. He’d gotten so used to only being able to turn left or right that he’d failed to realize that a third option was now available to him and to all other drivers.
He’d gotten into a mindset and wasn’t able to see the changes taking place around him over the years.
How many businesses do you know today that are in this same mindset? What about your manager or leader? Have they allowed themselves to get so comfortable with their surroundings that they fail to notice the changes?
What about you? Are you keeping your eyes open for changes?
BTW – link below for anger management techniques for those of you (and perhaps me too) who get a little too angry
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- Complaint Box | Horns and Drivers (cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Anger Management Techniques (lifescript.com)