A Point of View Can Be a Dangerous Luxury

“A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.”

—Marshall McLuhan, 20th Century Canadian Professor

Image of a messy drawer

Image from Unsplash by Ashim D’Silva

Most people generally prefer order to chaos. We tend to like thing organized neatly, whether it be our closets, our files, and in the case of today’s quote, our minds.

When we take in information and experiences, we like to put them into neat piles based on previous knowledge. We categorize them by varying points of view on what is right or wrong, good or bad.

When you hear those around you – or maybe even yourself – saying, “I Know,” it often means they or you have stopped listening or closed their mind to alternative insights and perspectives.

EXERCISE:

With whom and on what issues have you developed a point of view that is holding you back in either your personal or professional communities?

Take My Advice I’m Not Using It

“Take my advice. I’m not using it.”

—David J. Henderhand

Image of the TED logo

I am a big fan of TED Talks. I love great ideas, and as a coach, I find myself sharing them all the time. I recently saw Mel Robbins’ TEDx San Francisco talk from 2011, from which I had a “take away” – I’ll get to that in a minute. First, a few questions:

  • What percent of the advice you offer others is acted upon?
  • What percent of advice you offer to others do YOU act upon?

It is, after all, great advice. It makes perfect sense, and you’ve seen it work wonderfully for others!

Talk is indeed cheap, and Mel Robbin’s advice to all of us is that once the insight, idea, or words of wisdom pop into our minds, we must act upon them within five seconds to activate and reap the rewards they bring.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you use this five second “insight into action” strategy to use far more of the advice you offer to others?

How can you also coach and support others in your world to do the same?

How might you also apply this concept to the advice others offer you, and don’t happen to be using at the moment?

Today will be what you make of it

“Today will be what you make of it.”

—Author Unknown

Image of "Mindsight" book

I recently learned about a new skill called “Mindsight,” based on the book of the same name by Doctor Daniel Siegel.

Siegel suggests this skill is a kind of focused attention. Mindsight allows us to see the internal workings of our own mind, including our mental processes, without being swept away by them through the autopilots of ignorance and habitual responses.

How often do you notice each day blending into the next? To what degree do you experience a bit of insanity and upset by not seeing better results, and feeling less engaged and alive?

EXERCISE:

How would a greater awareness of your inner thinking and outer efforts help you make more of each day?