On the subject of (our) memory storage and how patterns of association are made in our brains, Dr Edward de Bono (father of Lateral Thinking) wrote “patterns are picked out of the environment solely based on the basis of familiarity, and through such selection become ever more familiar” (1971, p.124).
In some scenarios, our familiar patterns of association are good safety valves. In others they stop us from opening our eyes to new possibilities. Or worse, they inhibit us from doing well or even great things, as we are stuck in old – unproductive, possibly destructive – patterns.
To see new patterns (ideas, behaviour, responses) or to accept that the familiar is not necessarily the best or only way to go, we need to use fresh eyes. Get new perspectives, and be open to these. Explore our situation from new vantage points. Sometimes our own eyes can bring fresh angles to a challenge. Mostly though we need other people’s fresh eyes to give our own the chance to break the pattern.
Fresh eyes as a work life mentor is a pre-requisite. Watch out.
© Amanda Yensa Manor 2015