Sunday, September 5, 2010
Yesterday, I walked for a mile backwards along the Arizona canal. The key is I walked BACKWARDS. Not the normal way to move forward, is it?
The reason I chose to walk backward? To change things up. On my walk that morning, I wanted to sort out a few thoughts I had going on inside my head about an upcoming presentation. Once I'd warmed up on the first two miles, I realized I could change things up and maybe that would take my thoughts in a more creative direction. So I turned around and walked backwards for the next mile.
_I saw things from a different perspective.
_I became more aware of my surroundings, as I had to keep looking from side to side so I wouldn't walk into anyone coming my way, get hit by one of the cyclists, or walk smack dab into the canal itself.
_I worked on a different set of leg muscles.
_And, yes, I did work out a few kinks in the presentation, ironed out the last detail, and came home to write it all down before I forgot what I wanted to include in the message.
From time to time, it's a good idea to change things up, to do things differently than you normally would and go outside that box. It's like working a different muscle. You'll work a part of your body not generally used, you'll feel differently, think differently, and may wind up with a better result. It's good exercise all the way around to change things up, to surprise yourself with what you can accomplish under different settings, and to challenge yourself to consider an alternative to the norm.
This works especially well when you feel boxed in to an idea or format. If you catch yourself feeling that way, it might be time to force yourself to approach a problem differently. Find someone you know who will expand your own point of view and discuss the problem with them. Open your mind to the possibility that the answer to your challenge is the opposite of what you thought it might be. Maybe it's actually somewhere in the middle. But to get there, you'll have to stretch the boundary a bit. You might have to "exercise" a little courage and risk judgment from others. You might also be very pleased with the result.
Today's challenge for you: Pick one thing you undertake today and do it differently. If it's the dishes, and you're used to stacking the dirty ones in the dishwasher, try washing them by hand today. If you generally use lists to run your errands, skip the lists and see what happens. Will you remember everything? Will you do more than the list might limit you to do? Will you do less because you forgot something? Will the list become obsolete because your idea of what needed to be done changed altogether? At the end of the day, evaluate the change you took. My guess is you'll be surprised by the result. Tell us what happened by posting a comment below.