“The Grass Is Greener Where You Water It.”
So our world is quite chaotic these days.
Not to mention there’s an awful lot of doom, gloom, and negativity being thrown around.
I often ask myself why this is happening and what is causing this.
Through a lot of reading, researching, and reflecting I‘ve come to the conclusion that the reason things are in such disarray right now is that people are trying to use past solutions to fix modern problems and using an old way of thinking.
With everything happening in the world I feel this message is incredibly relevant, important and timely.
Day in and day out I remind myself that the old way of thinking doesn’t necessarily get us anywhere.
In fact, in this fast-paced 2018 world it doesn’t even apply anymore.
Yet nearly everyone is still trying to apply our old way of thinking, then when it doesn’t work they feel frustrated, exhausted, confused, and frankly defeated.
Let me share with you some examples that might help you understand this mindset.
1. Emails Vs. Telegrams
You can’t send an email if you only are thinking about telegrams as a source of communication.
Back in my Talent Agency days there was an older agent, the legendary Marty Baum, who asked his new assistant at the time Erik Broderick to send a “Telegram” from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
As I remember the conversation went something like:
Marty: Send a telegram to Las Vegas.
Erik: I don’t know how to send a telegram.
Marty: You don’t know how to send a Telegram!?!?
Later that evening the prior assistant informed Erik that “Telegram” means “Email”.
Marty was still caught in the old way and nobody bothered to tell him the world has moved forward. We can’t be thinking in “Telegrams” when we’re now in an “Email” world.
I see people today trapped in old ways of thinking and they don’t even know it.
2. The Parable Of The Pot Roast
A second example of this old way of thinking is a parable I see pop up from time to time on the internet in various forms with various characters, but the premise is the same. It’s about a family and a pot roast.
I’ll retell it with my family members and me.
Begin Short Story.
My Mom was preparing a pot roast for a holiday meal with young Geoff’s assistance.
Before putting the pot roast in the oven Mom cut off the ends of the pot roast.
Geoff: Mom, why do you cut off the ends of the roast like that?
Mom: Because that’s the way it’s done. That’s how Nana (grandma) did it and that’s how I do it.
Geoff was puzzled.
Christmas Eve happened. We all enjoyed pot roast but Geoff sat quietly and wondered why his Mom cut off the darn ends of the pot roast.
Christmas Day everyone was opening presents at Nana’s house. Geoff was still overly curious about the pot roast.
While opening a present curiosity got the best of Geoff.
Geoff: Nana, when you cook why do you cut the ends off a pot roast?
Nana: Because that’s the way it’s done. That’s how my Mom (Gee-Gee) did it and that’s how I do it.
It still wasn’t enough for Geoff. Always very curious.
He went to bed that night unfulfilled. He knew the next day they were headed out to visit his great-grandmother Gee-Gee in the retirement home where she currently resided.
The next day, upon arriving and seeing Gee-Gee, Geoff couldn’t resist.
Geoff: Gee-Gee, When you use to always cook big family dinners, why did you cut the ends off the pot roast?”
Gee-Gee: When I was a young, we had a very small ovens. Even the smallest pot roast never fit, so I cut off the ends!
End Short Story
What’s the lesson here?
Even though something has always been done a certain way, doesn’t necessarily mean we should always continue to do it that way.
The answer to a lot of our problems is in how we are approaching them. We are approaching them with old methods of thinking most of which frankly are no longer relevant today.
A final example:
I believe Elon Musk’s Mars mission is a potentially huge negotiating tool for our current negotiations with North Korea. Attached is my recent column about this.
As soon as we all start realizing the fact that our problems are in how we think and adapting this mindset, the world will change fast.
Old ways don’t open new doors.
If they did, we’d still be sending telegrams and we wouldn’t have wasted all that pot roast!
By Geoff Pilkington
You can connect with me at: www.geoffreypilkington.com.
Originally published at medium.com