That was over twenty years ago, and I still smile every time I think about it. And then I remember a second incident a short time later, when her child’s perspective surprised and delighted me.
We were on a rural country road, on the way to visit her grandparents. As we drove past a group of cows grazing on the hillside, Alison exclaimed, “Look, the cows are licking their toes!” She saw their heads down near their feet and never considered that they were eating grass.
Why do I remember these incidents so vividly? Not because they demonstrate Alison’s rich imagination. But because she had a fresh perspective about every-day things.
A young child’s mind isn’t cluttered with the rules and categories and explanations of an adult mind. So it’s easy for her to see ordinary things through innocent eyes and come up with different ways of looking at things.
Our adult perspective can cause us to overlook opportunities and new ideas. We’ve got an established way of looking at the world, which we constructed from our accumulated years of living. And we rely on that limited orientation when faced with a new challenge. The problem is, when we’re limited by one way of looking at things, we don’t even see, much less consider, other possibilities.
During a challenging environment like we’re in now, it’s more important than ever to use “fresh eyes” – a term I learned from one of my marketing mentors, Dan Kennedy.
We’re often too close to our work to see what’s obvious to someone else. We put on virtual blinders and charge ahead doing the same things we’ve always done, getting the same results. Instead, we need to remove the blinders and seek perspectives from people outside our industry or normal frame of reference.
Find out what it will take for you to get a fresh perspective on yourself and your work so you develop new strategies that lead to greater success.
Here are a few ways you can find those “fresh eyes”:
- If you’re not already involved with one, I strongly recommend that you join a group coaching or mastermind program. It will introduce you to new concepts and challenge you to get outside your comfort zone. The group members may offer innovative solutions to problem areas that have plagued you for years.
- Read publications and books outside your industry. As you study successes in other fields, as yourself, “How can I apply that idea in my professional or personal life?”
- Survey current and prospective customers to learn first-hand what they want and need that you can provide. You’re likely to get some ideas you hadn’t though of before.
Please share a comment about when someone else's new perspective has helped you look at a situation differently.