“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~ Wayne Dyer, Ph.D.
One of my favorite things to do on a Sunday morning is to bike the path around the lakes by my house. It gets me outside, is a great workout, and allows me to clear my mind. I’ve taken the same route many times, and I never get tired of it.
Recently, I decided to shake things up and do the ride in the reverse direction. You wouldn’t think that just going in the opposite direction on the same route would really be that much different, but boy is it! It was like an entirely new journey. I was seeing porches, garages, landscape, and views of the lake I had never “seen” before, all because I was looking from a different direction.
This got me to thinking … there are many things we do in our daily work (or even life) that are routine. Could we benefit from taking a look at them from a different perspective? For me, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Even the most subtle change can give you a new outlook. Consider the following
- Take a different route to and from work or school; drive side streets instead of the freeway.
- Sit in back of a classroom and observe the learners rather than delivering the training yourself.
- Be the student and take an e-learning course instead of only viewing it through your instructional designer eyes.
- If you’re a manager, consider how your direct reports view a situation, communication, and/or process.
- Take a view from the standpoint of the opposite sex or different age group.
- When writing a process, “be” the person before or after the task.
- Think of how things can be on the way down the corporate ladder instead of how they are on the way up.
- If you’re a seasoned pro in the training and performance improvement field, try to view the profession from the eyes of someone who is new to the field.
- Focus on the details if you usually focus on the big picture, and vice versa.
I’m sure you have many other examples of where changing your direction can change your perspective.
I was so enlightened after my ride that on a recent family backpacking trip, we decided to do the same thing with our hiking trail. Instead of having the van drop us off and hiking back to our car four days later, we did an out and back; two days one direction and then two back on the same trail going the reverse direction. The scenery certainly looked different going the other direction, but the hills felt mighty big both ways!
So try changing your direction to get a new view, and let me know what you see differently.