Don’t Be Narrow and Rigid
The other day I was in a meeting with someone I really like. He is the Founder/CEO of a great company which is doing great things. What I did notice though is that this CEO is getting tired and his view of the industry he operates in is getting narrow and rigid–as opposed to wide and flexible. Then I thought about how I view my own personal environment –not just my friends and family, but also my businesses. The way we view the world influences how the micro-environments around us operate.
That started me thinking about how we all go through challenges that can alter how we perceive our surroundings and how we react to the stipulations coming from them. We each have a few choices that we can make: We can maintain a narrow and rigid view of the world, in which case we will get a narrow and rigid view back. Or, we can be broad, light and flexible, and get broad, light and flexible views, opinions and thoughts back.
It’s so challenging to be in a meeting like the one with my CEO friend, and to explain to them that they are being narrow and rigid. Not something I want to tell someone! So how do you get that point across in a way that keeps things fresh, new and light?
What if it was a very simple thing that you needed to do to keep it fresh, new and light? What if digging into the smallest detail, the smallest nuance, could be the real message here? What do I mean by that?
Think about your family, friends, your businesses, your colleagues, everyone one in your ecosystem. Do you take all they have to offer for granted or do you appreciate every aspect of them? You can start by dismantling every component of your relationships, every component of your business, every component of how you operate, how you personally work within the framework of your own ecosystem. You’re going to find so many things that delight you about these people, these businesses, and you need to continue to dig and focus on all of the aspects that you really like –the reason these people are hanging around you. Oh yes, there certainly will be things that bother you, and you want to explore those, too. Think about how long those little things have bothered you in a perfectly light and airy way. Can you laugh at those idiosyncrasies, too?
In my world, light and airy is so much more beneficial for work and play. It just feels better than narrow and rigid.
Whether talking with the CEO I mentioned above, or even friends and family that are narrow in their thought process and rigid in their opinion, there is one really important key component needed to get them to the light, airy and broad perspective. It is that if you are narrow and rigid you will not be looking at the world in the same way that competitors might, the way others that are looking at your industry are. Maybe they are even looking at things you and your friends are taking for granted as new and fresh. This perspective difference is to me the difference between successful entrepreneurs, successful family units and successful groups of friends.
Why, ultimately, is this the case? My feeling after watching this for many years is that narrow and rigid, if not shaken and stopped, will attract more narrow and rigid, not less. More narrow and rigid defines your perspective as so small and so inflexible that you really don’t have any place to go –you’re not having fun and those around you aren’t having fun, either.
So today, let’s look at everything around us in a curious, child-like way. Look at everything with a light and airy attitude, easy-breezy, without judgment, without a rigid opinion. Kind of like imagining that your thoughts are like rocks, skipping on the water. Yep, stay with it and tell your friends and family why you are making a conscious decision to look at everything very broadly, very light and very flexible in thought process. When you are very broad and light, you are allowing in all kinds of stimuli that normally wouldn’t get in. This is where the magic occurs.
You might say to yourself, I get not being narrow and rigid, but where is the magic here? The magic is the touchpoint between your customer and yourself, that you may have missed in the past. The magic is the connectivity that makes a difference between you and a loved one –and maybe in the past you didn’t understand how important that was. Or for your friends, how important this really small detail was to both of you, and maybe you had forgotten it.
Today make sure you help anyone you know who has become narrow and rigid in their perspective and view. Challenge them to look for details in the situation that they have been missing. If they won’t listen now, show them how great it is to look at the world and situations with a light and airy view that is broad and flexible. It will not only keep you smiling and attentive, but from a business perspective, competitive. And from a friend perspective, caring. I also believe it is the fountain of youth because that curious child will never grow old.
Light and airy on–