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How About Using Our Heads

Updated on October 13, 2008

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.

Comments

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    • Misha profile image

      Misha 

      9 years ago from DC Area

      Sure Benson, it's a pleasure to stop by any of your hubs :)

      Rochelle, I always thought I was cynical, yet Leonardo definitely outdid me in this area, too :(

    • Benson Yeung profile imageAUTHOR

      Benson Yeung 

      9 years ago from Hong Kong

      Hi Rochelle,

      thanks for commenting. It's always good to see you and learn something.

    • Benson Yeung profile imageAUTHOR

      Benson Yeung 

      9 years ago from Hong Kong

      Hi Misha,

      thanks for commenting. You have a point. People in Hong Kong use a Cantonese slang which goes like "feed yourself with brain". The idea is that it's much easier to make a living by using the brain than the rest of the body.

    • Benson Yeung profile imageAUTHOR

      Benson Yeung 

      9 years ago from Hong Kong

      Hi Gerg,

      thanks for commenting. You see youo've brought more than your comment. A couple of old friends have tailed you too.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      9 years ago from California Gold Country

      Misha-- that's great, but it reminds me of an observation of Leonardo daVinci-- who thought that the main purpose of almost all of mankind was to fill the cesspools of the earth, but then he was a bit cynical.

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 

      9 years ago from DC Area

      Oh, I use my head every day - to eat :)

    • Gerg profile image

      Gerg 

      9 years ago from California

      Great suggestions, Benson. It takes active effort to stay present and continuously improve. Thanks ~

    • Benson Yeung profile imageAUTHOR

      Benson Yeung 

      9 years ago from Hong Kong

      Dear quicksand and Shadesbreath,

      thanks for the kind comments. Thanks for highlighting the importance of the BRAIN and the perspective shift.

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 

      9 years ago from California

      That's a great list, dude. Demanding, but great. You know, number two is a big one. An old writer' trick when you are working on a story that just isn't working right and you can't figure out why is to rewrite it from the perspective of a different character in the story. A perspective shift is often exactly what we need.

      And I never borrow books. I keep everything. I love books.

      Anyway, nice hub and congrats on inventing a new syringe technique. That's very cool.

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 

      9 years ago

      That's probably the only internal organ that cannot be put on auto pilot! :)

      I mean the brain.

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