When visiting my 85 year old father last week, I took it upon myself to organize his apartment. The next day everything was back in its original spot. There’s comfort in the familiar and comfort was certainly more important to him than a new, more efficient place for his mail.
We all know other people who are stuck doing the same things the same way. Yet we fail to see our own narrow views or the “I know what I know” attitudes we hang on to, never considering the possibility that we may be wrong and there is be a better way.
The world around us is rapidly changing. Flexibility and adaptability are critical success factors. Although openness to new ideas and a sincere desire for positive change are more important than ever, we often stay with the familiar assuming it will continue to produce the desired results.
Albert Einstein said it best: “The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
We miss opportunities because the discomfort we feel around change–fear, anxiety and worry–can literally limit the brain’s ability to see other options. This means if we want to think differently, we have to first feel differently.
Next time you hear yourself saying, “I know what I know”, make sure you aren’t blind to other options. Start by getting Neutral: focus on the area around your heart; breathe in and out through the heart. Then engage the power of the heart by feeling a positive emotion. The physiological change brought about by this emotional shift will enhance brain function and allow you to view the issue in a whole.