Monday, October 5, 2009

Looking Through a Different Window

How many times have we had an experience of being stuck in our progress? Pick any area you like: business plans, a social activity, a hobby, a charity fundraiser, a do it yourself project around the house or anything else we were working on.

Then one day, a shift in perception occured. Maybe it came to us in a dream, or while we were reading a novel, listening to music or watching TV. It was the eye opener, the shift in perception, the ability to see the situation differently all of a sudden. And that shift helped us see a solution and freed up our progress.

Reframing is a name for this. Try this analogy. Suppose you always see the world by looking out your front window. Then one day, you look out your back window, and you see things that you never see looking out the front window.

Here is a simple example. Suppose your front window looks out onto the street and the house across the street. Suppose your back window looks into a yard with a garden, and you have a bird feeder that attracts many different birds. You let yourself relax watching the birds and as they flutter back and forth, eat and sing, you notice the interactions of all the creatures, including the squirrels, rabbits, dragonflies, fireflies, butterflies and whatever else is out there. You look out the front window, and unless someone is working in the yard or washing their car, the scene is static all day. Which one might stimulate more creative ideas?

Reframing is nothing more than looking at the world through different windows. It used to be that if you wanted to sell a book that you wrote, you would pay a printer and then go around and try to find people who want to buy your book. Today, you can have it on your website and when people send in money, they can then print their own copy out of their own printer. It is a whole different approach.

For a long time, it seemed like having kids sell candy was the favorite fundraising technique of many organizations. For some it still is. Then one day someone thought of encouraging people to donate their junkers to their favorite cause, and many organizations do that. Somebody had to be looking out of a different window to come up with that. Somebody was thinking outside the square.

Can you think of other examples of looking through a different window and finding ideas for achieving our goals?

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