How About Using Our Heads
Use your head
We went through our education and professional training and settled into a job we have been good at. Our superiors, colleagues and clients appear to be happy with our performance. What’s next? My suggestion is: How about using our heads? This sounds weird. How can we be so successful if we haven’t been using our heads? The truth is, we can be successful in following old tricks that used to work. Mind you, the old tricks might not work for new situations. Our successes succumb when the situations change. Besides, old tricks have been dying fast all over the world, just like all living things have. One characteristic of living organisms is growth. When we stop growing, we stop living and start dying. For the physically mature, growth is only possible on a higher level, that of intelligence, innovation and wisdom. This is one of the reasons that I write, to use my head. Let me tell you a couple of ridiculous stories when we don’t use our heads. For many years, one suitable organ donor would save at least four lives. His liver went to one recipient, his kidneys to two other recipients, and his heart and lungs to the fourth. Patients with some forms of lung diseases would require heart-lung transplantation, even though their hearts were in fact normal. Other patients with certain forms of heart failure would require heart transplants. What happened was that the patients requiring heart-lung transplants would have their original hearts and lungs removed and new organs implanted. Their original organs would be discarded. Then a transplant surgeon started using his head and realized a major mistake in the practice. They had been discarding perfectly normal hearts which could in fact save another patient waiting for heart transplant. Another story starred your humble author as the hero. I had this smallest glass ampoule which was used to hold a local anesthetic. Drawing the local anesthetic out into the syringe practically took minutes because of the counter suction force created by the vacuum. One fine day, I asked myself whether there could be a better way. I tried to use the needle cap to push behind the rubber seal to squeeze the anesthetic drug into the syringe. A positive pressure was exerted to see whether it would work better than a vacuum force. It worked and the 2 minute job became a 10 second task.
I’m sure there are plenty more situations calling for creative ways to solve the problem. The matter is whether you can live with uncertainty and try out something new. Why not try the following:
1. Ask yourself whether what you’ve learned in the past can be applied in a new situation.
2 . Look at problems from different angles and viewpoints. Say, try the customer’s viewpoint, the competitor’s viewpoint, the customer’s parents', or children', or spouses’, or the politicians’, or the religious leaders’ viewpoints.
3. Give yourself a little change every week, be it your outfit, your hair style, the way you set up your desk, etc.
4. Get to know about popular products and services and ask yourself why these things have become popular.
5. Go to a popular spot every week, whether you like it or not, to feel the pulse of the times.
6. Read the whole newspaper, not just the financial or political news.
7. Observe the people and activities around you when you are commuting to and from work.
8. Read a book every week, to nurture your inquiring mind.
9. Get to know people in other professions and jobs, and people with other hobbies.
10. Learn another language.
11. Give yourself some free time to think every week.
12. Invest in your ongoing training and education.
13. Buy, rather than borrow, books so you can always refer back to the important passages.
There must be many more ways to tackle this issue. Whatever you do or try, use your head.