My wife and I were celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary and decided to visit one of our favourite gardens in the Melbourne hills.
The garden was familiar and the path we were following well signposted and well worn. We got to the end of the path and were about to turn around. At that moment I noticed a small signpost with an arrow and the symbol of a hiker.
The path it pointed to was overgrown, muddy and generally uninviting. It almost yelled: “No one goes that way!”
We decided to try this less-well-travelled path and were met with breathtaking views; an awesome creek and wildlife which seemed to pop up their heads and say “What do you think you are doing coming this way?”
This average day and average walk turned into a spectacular day by taking the path less travelled.
Do you see what everyone else sees?
In 1928, Alexander Fleming was researching the properties of staphylococci. Laboratories were not as sterile as they are today and it was not uncommon to find cultures contaminated. In most cases, the culture was simply thrown out and started again.
It just happened that on September 28, 1928, Fleming noticed something which everyone else missed. The staphylococci near the fungi were destroyed.
He could have been like everyone else and kept throwing out the contaminated samples. Instead, he observed something different … and this changed the world.
Are you a seagull?
“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
In business and in sales it is easy to see what works. Everyone else is doing it already. It is like seagulls at the beach. They flap around and chase after the same crumbs. Eventually most of them are fed.
In an industry full of followers (seagulls) it is easy to flap around and be average. It takes someone with vision to see the same results in new ways; and someone with courage to take the new pathway.
In life there are many well-worn paths. Sometimes what we see is what we expect to see and not what is really there. My wife and I had trodden the path in this garden many times and never seen this new way … and that made the day spectacular.
It is easy to go through life on cruise control. Be careful as you may miss life altogether.
Today’s question and actions
This week as you go through your routines of life, stop and ask yourself these questions:
- I wonder what other ways there are to achieving the same results?
- If this gadget/solution overcomes this problem, I wonder what other problems it could solve in other areas as well?
Be a bit like Alexander Fleming. Look for the unusual, the small sign showing something is different. You never know, you might just change the world … or at least make life a bit more interesting.
Have a great week!
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