Have you ever wondered why your spouse, partner, family members or friends think differently about the same things you think about? The fact is, we all think differently about things. As human beings, we are built the same with the same types of organs, the same types of cells and the ability to reason. Yet, when presented with a situation we all have contrasting views and interpretations of the situation. Everything in our world acts to stimulate our minds. We respond to this stimulation based on our past experiences. As individuals, we even respond differently to the same type of situation each time we encounter. The second time will be different from the first because we have experienced the situation before. We all have different perspectives which are based on our backgrounds and experiences enabling us to derive and expect different desired outcomes.
This week my brother finally got to take some needed time off to take a trip in his motorhome. He spent a great deal of time preparing and making plans for the trip. He was heading to Washington D.C. to see the cherry blossoms bloom and visit many of the monuments he had not been to before. After driving fourteen hours to the RV park he was staying at, his trip took several big turns.
First, he had power issues in his motorhome. A GFI circuit had tripped and he couldn’t find the reset button but, after some searching he did and the power was restored. His day went on uneventful until news of an approaching major winter storm began to fill the airwaves. The local weatherman was forecasting the storm to dump 6 to 12 inches of snow on the location where he was staying. As the day progressed temperatures dropped, it was time to turn on the heat. But, the heat wouldn’t turn on. He had tested it earlier and it had worked fine but, not now. No heat. Luckily, he had a space heater and was able to purchase two more from a nearby local store.
When he awoke the morning of March 21st, there was several inches of snow on the ground with the snow continuing to come down. The city was shut down. No Uber. No mass transit. No Metro. No open stores, restaurants, or gas stations. Nothing was open. As we exchanged text messages back and forth he told me, “I come all this way, not to do what I wanted.” This is where I think differently.
People think differently based on their life experiences. I reminded my brother about a Boy Scout camping trip we went on when we were kids. On that camping trip it snowed the whole night and completely covered our tent and everything in our campsite. I still remember that trip as being one of the most awesome scout camping trips I ever went on. For my brother I don’t think it was, and here after fifty years he was once again camping in the snow.
I view his trip as an opportunity to be completely shut down, allowing for total personal downtime. An opportunity to be totally disconnected from the daily craziness with no place to go and nothing to do except to experience the moment of uninterrupted personal downtime. In my brother’s case, I believe the Universe is sending him a clear message, “well, if you will not take some time on your own I’m taking all your options and giving you the downtime, you need.” My brother doesn’t see it like this. He sees it as, “I drove all this way for this!”
The important part of this story is, there are reasons this happened to my brother. They are reasons that may never be known but, it happened. He, just as everyone else, has a choice in how to deal with this setback. He can choose to be the victim dwelling on how unfair it is, or he can choose to see the funny side of the story enjoying the personal downtime.
Choose to think differently. Choose to enjoy the moments you have. Don’t question the Universe rather embrace the idea the Universe has your back. Choose to see the humor in things. When you think about my brother’s story, it is quite funny considering it’s his first real vacation in years. He drove fourteen hours arriving right on time for a major winter snow storm that has him snowed in for a few days. We can choose to see this story as a great unfortunate event that ruined a vacation or as an adventurous opportunity to do something we have never done before like spending a few days snowed in while staying in the motorhome riding out a winter storm.
As I sat down to write this piece this morning, my friend, Chuck Christie, emailed to remind me that this year 5078 (the Hebrew Year) and 2018 are both years of “Eights” which is the year to walk in a new way. If you think that thinking differently is just something Jeff Heiser has made up, think again. In the Bible, Romans 12:2 it says, “And do not be conformed to this world, be transformed by renewing your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” If this is not a call to action to think differently, I don’t know what is.
Thinking differently could be your one and only chance to success. Don’t be like everyone else. If you think like everyone else, act like everyone else, and do like everyone else then you are no different from everyone else. When you think differently, you standout from everyone else which could be all the difference needed. What snow storm are you struggling with? Maybe it’s time you choose the moment for what it is, stop questioning the Universe and start seeing the humor in things. It’s time to start Thinking Differently.
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