“Where is my French press?”
This was the question I shouted up the stairs or asked anyone who got near me.
I had just read an article on making iced coffee and iced coffee cubes using a cold press method that yields tasty, strong (or diluted to your taste) and icy cold coffee refreshment during the summer months.
(I’ll describe the process if anyone asks by leaving a comment or e-mailing me.)
The French press has always been on the counter near the tea kettle. But I “knew” that Robin (my wife) had been cleaning in preparation for a meeting at out house and when I glanced at the counter it wasn’t there.
I shouted to the kids, “Does anyone know where Mom put the French press?” “It’s usually on the counter,” was the response.
“No I looked,” I said. “It must have been put away.”
I called Robin – at work.
“Do you remember where you put the French press?”
“I probably put it…” Well, you get the picture. For a day or two we all looked in the places we thought that it might be. Then, just a few moments ago I notice it… right where it always was. It had just been pushed back a few inches. It had been there all along. It had just become invisible due to our expectations.
I knew Robin was cleaning up so when I glanced at the counter and didn’t see it, that was consistent with my expectation. And, when I was looking for it that gave the kids the expectation that it had been moved.
Our expectations literally made the movement of a few inches enough to make it invisible to us. All of us. So my erroneous expectation was spread to others by my comments that created new expectations in them.
Now why is this story appearing in the persuasion and communications blog instead of the senility blog? Well, we all have assumptions and expectations that make us miss the obvious. And, we often spread those assumptions to others by tellig them that “That doen’t work here,” or “We have tried that before.”
Maybe it’s time, in our business and in our personal lives to look at what we have been assuming, or taking for granted. Let’s take a moment and consider what our expectations have been doing to our reality.
Expectations work because they program the reticular activating system to notice certain things and to ignore others. The question is, “Are those expectations serving you well?”
So, how can you do this? How can you see what you have been missing? How can you find the missing French press?
Questions are like a spot light in these matters.
Ask yourself: “If I were starting my business right now, knowing what I know today how would it be different? Who would be helping me? What systems and technology would you use? Who would be my customers? what would be my products or services and how would they be priced?”
How about in your your personal life?
What would you love to do that you haven’t up until now?
What assumptions have you been making about your life that are making the coffee press invisible?
So use the human power to alter your assumptions to find the missing coffee press and take it from there.
And while you’re at it, schedule some time to make the changes. Just put an appointment with yourself in the old calendar. Try it.
Photo Credit: Dharion