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Thursday
Jul292010

It’s All In How You Look At It

The other morning I had one of those 'duhhhh' moments. My husband had taken my car camping so I was driving his much older one. Within 5 minutes, I had broken off the inside door handle that had been hanging by a thread anyway. For the next couple of days, I scooted over to the passenger side and out that door to exit the car. Not an easy prospect in a small compact car.

Then, as I explained my situation to my 17 year old friend sitting in the passenger seat so it wouldn’t appear strange when I started crawling out of his side, he casually said, “why don’t you just open your window and open the outside door handle?” Duhhhh! But it did get me thinking. Here I had been looking at the situation only one way. He came into the picture, and by looking at it another way he came up with a much easier answer. He had not limited himself to just my solution when looking at the situation. Had I not closed myself off to thinking of different alternatives, I might have saved myself many gear shift bruises and insults to my feminine pride as I clumsily exited the car through the passenger door.

How many times have you had those ‘duhhhh’ moments in your life where maybe had you just looked at something from a different perspective, you would have had an entirely different result? Or on a grander scale, how are we limiting how far we go in our lives by not looking at life from different perspectives? Maybe we are all too locked into one way and just don’t think big enough.

Not thinking big enough is huge for most of us and this can apply to pretty much all aspects of our lives. We look at what we have and we know we want more, but without knowing how to get it or being locked into thinking we can get it only one way, it never appears. We get discouraged and think only about our lack rather than thinking how big things could really be and letting nature take its course!

How about if you started thinking bigger than what you have and do so without limiting yourself to believing that you can get it only one way? In fact, there must be an unlimited number of ways that you can get more wealth, health, love etc. But since we are accustomed to trying to do it only in the way we think it should be done, we are not allowing ourselves to see the possibilities that may arise from viewing it from any number of different perspectives.

This week, when you are feeling the gear shift in your side, let go of your preconceived notions and try looking at life from a different perspective. Maybe take a different path than one you have always taken. Have faith that other choices will work out- maybe not as you thought they would, but who knows where you may end up. After all, it really is all in how you look at it!

What are some of your 'duhhhh' moments, and how has looking at something from a different perspective changed your life?

Reader Comments (25)

I couldn't help but chuckle as I read your post. I do things like that all the time – and I consider myself a smart person. :) But you're right, it's all about expanding our perspectives. It's so easy to get stuck in a rut. My most frequent "duh" moments happen with computers. I know just enough to be dangerous. So when I think something isn't working, frequently it's an operator error. LOL Great post Candace!

July 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRenee Ludwigs

An enjoyable post; as much as it s sometimes difficult to admit aloud a lapse of logic, know you are not alone. From forgetting leaving keys in the refrigerator to searching everywhere for my sunglasses (my daughter pointed them out as sitting on top of my head) I--like most humans--have had several of the moments of the type you describe. Hours are saved by folks to smile at you funnily and point out the 'obvious' thing from their other set of eyes. As I thanks the person(s) for their aid I hope fervently that I can be of similar use to someone else in the future.

July 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith Greene

Years ago I was sitting high up in the Himalayas in Nepal with a holy Hindu wise man. He said to me: "Catarina, whatever happens to you in life it's up to you how you perceive it".

Agree with what you say in your article completely Julia!

July 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatarina Alexon

So glad to read others' DUH moments. How about this one. Driving to Florida from NY (I would swear someone has moved it farther away than the last time I drove there) and texting my 22 year old to ask how long it would take us to drive 200 miles at 80mph (shhhh don't tell anyone we were speeding). I was trying to figure it out using algebra because I am so smart - not - when my daughter called me to ask me if this was a serious question. When I told her it was, she burst out laughing and said, "Mom, how long do you THINK it would take you to drive 200 miles at 80 miles per HOUR?". We still laugh at that one.

BTW - I am always looking for my glasses when they are either sitting on top of my head or on my shirt. Isn't that normal? LOL

Thanks for giving me a much-needed laugh today :)

July 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Weishaar

This reminded me of the joke about the lady who broke her remote and thought she was locked out of her car. Really good reminder to keep thinking - inside and outside of the box

July 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeelShields

Ah, what a great blog! Thank you for this reminder. I experienced how to look at life differently after becoming sober. I used to look at things a sblack and white... one solution versus none. I have since learned to relax and notice all that is going on around me, which has allowed me to see things differently. Looking at all perspectives allows me to see shades of many colors. Very freeing and peaceful.

July 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn Jones

Candace, I enjoyed your article. As it relates to small business (my area of interest), I would add a couple of other points.

When hiring your executive/management team, it is important to hire those that will view things differently from you and each other. If they all think alike, you only really need one of them – unless that one thinks like you and then you don’t need any of them. Staff meetings and problem solving are far more productive when the discussion is between people that view things from different perspectives.

A mentor of mine when I was a lad once told me, “Listen carefully to all ideas from all sources before making your final decision. You may be surprised where a good idea can come from. Even stupid people can have a good idea.” Over the years, I haven’t hired too many stupid people, but I have found many great ideas from the most unlikely sources.

This reminds me of a staff meeting I was holding in the early days of wireless telephony (the business we were in). In this meeting were my VPs of finance, engineering as well as sales & marketing (of which the highest paid was the VP of sales & marketing). We were discussing a marketing problem. We wanted to sell our cellular phone with our own custom made face-plate so that everyone would know that our customers were using our cellular service (free advertising). At the same time, it was important to keep the cost of the phone as low as possible to attract the most customers.

We determined that customers were unlikely to pay extra for our custom face-plate. In fact, we even felt that if we included the face-plate free of charge, chances were good that our customers would choose the manufacturer’s face-plate over our own. We were making very little progress on solving the dilemma when our VP of engineering (who had zero marketing education or experience) came up with the perfect marketing solution. His suggestion? Why not exchange the manufacturer’s face-plate that came with each cell phone with our own and then offer the manufacturer’s face-plate for sale at an additional cost. The result, 60% of phone sales were with our free custom face-plate (which provided a lot of free advertising for us). The 40% that purchased the manufacturer’s face-plate more than covered the cost of our custom face-plate that we gave away free.

I paid my VP of marketing about 30% more than the VP of engineering, yet the marketing solution came from the most unlikely source. This example proves your point of expanding our thinking and thinking outside the box.

July 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike Clough

Candace
I love this story. It is amazing how the simple solution is not in our point of view. If we have always opened the door from the inside then we can not do it another way.

As a business owners we should be asking our target market for suggestions and listen our current customers.

Mike
I love your example.

August 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulia M Lindsey

I have had a few "ah ha" moments and remember them vividly! Years ago I was recovering from a massive financial setback and realizing that the money I lost is still out there! It didn't go away, it just changed hands!!! The reason it changed hands was because I didn't provide enough LASTING value to keep it.

My mission is to give MASSIVE value in order to lock in my future wealth...this time, I know the secret to keeping it...just give more away!

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Crowe

Your post reminds me of the story of the delivery truck that gets stuck in a tunnel and blocks traffic for hours. After engineers, architects and a number of other professionals cannot figure out how to extract the truck from the tunnel, a young boy wanders up the street to see what is going on and innocently asks why they don't just let the air out of the truck's tires to get it 'unstuck'.

I couldn't agree with you more about perspective, it can be the difference between success and repetitive bruising.

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDarcie Newton

Excellent post and really good advice! My last job role related to quality analysis and performance improvement so we were heavily into looking at things from every possible angle and not just accepting things at face value. It's all too easy to make quick assumptions about why things are the way they are and the best course of action, but that's not always the case.

I'm pretty sure that if people follow your advice in the post then they will be more successful in both life and in business... which is an impressive achievement for a blog post!

Thanks

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Edington

Oh just the other day the guy who is building a fence came round to start and we were talking about how far it should be set back from the road. I went into an elaborate explanation about how we had stood at our neighbors and got a rough idea of the eyeline and checked with the others on the road. He took his tape measure out and measured the setbacks - doh!

I completely agree with all this though and I still use the Wayne Dyer quote that I used in this blog post http://louiseedington.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/if-you-change-the-way-you-look-at-things-the-things-you-look-at-change-wayne-dyer/ in almost everything I do nowadays. Also a project on my to do list is a vision board so I can visualize all my goals every day - and I mean all - not just monetary etc.

Thanks for an interesting post

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLouise Edington

The thing I like most about blog commenting is the stimulation it gives me for gaining new perspectives that enable me to try things in a new way. Another thing that has been extremely valuable for me is feedback from participants who attend my programs. I find if I explain to then how to give me feedback they are able to give me the best ideas for using in my training programs. When I feel the gear shift in my side reading through the evals brings me powerful solutions.

Lisa Ann Landry - Corporate Trainer - Unleashing the Genie!

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Ann Landry

Love this post. It's funny the little things that happen in our daily lives that can teach us the biggest lessons. Those duh moments for me have taught me some great lessons over the years and not limiting yourself to the one solution you thought of immediately is a big deal. We self-edit and limit ourselves in so many ways every day ... what a wonderous thing it would be if we just let ourselves be open to the big picture downloads all the time!

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Bourn

This is good, Candace... We really have to work at it, to put ourselves into the mindset where we are free and open to new ideas. Your analogy to describe this all-too-common rut, is hysterical and visually vivid--- love it!
When I'm stuck for a solution, I try to think of people I respect, but who may have a different method of problem-solving, and think "what would so-and-so do? how would they approach this?". I also have the go-to of Atticus; like I've said before, just think like a dog, and your perception will change.

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi Alberti & Atticus

What I gained from the blog was the value of receiving outside perspective and feedback. Professional athletes receive tremendous support from a team around them such as coaches, trainers, nutritionists, pr, marketing, legal, financial, and the list goes on. And so it should be in biz.

Thanks Candace for the 'duhhh" moment.

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill Browning

Oh my, I have had more than my share of those Duhhh moments in my life! Many of them I have experienced with my daughter, so I have to believe that when we are younger is when we are less trapped into thinking one particular way! I wish I could remember one of the incidents as an example, but right now I am experiencing another downside of being older -- memory fade!

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDonna McCord

Definitely put me down as another with DUH moments. I guess it is part of being human. What I recently learned was to do a "break state" if you feel entangled or stuck. Jump up and down, focus on something else, ask a silly question, and sometimes then the resulting new perspective will give you that elusive answer.

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathyAlice

What a great story. It's funny to see how those moments can turn into such sources of inspiration. I was once working on a project and had some financial goals associated with it. As I worked on it I asked myself "what would this look like if the goal was 10x what it is now?" The question totally changed the way I looked at the project. It didn't require more work...in fact it was the same work. It just took a new point of view.

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave Saunders

Great post. I think we've had moments when someone said, why not just do it this way and we realize, well duh! That makes it easier.

Had it happen tonight in class, but I was the one that said, why not just.... the instructor just sort of smiled and said, well that makes sense!

August 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJean Bentley

I enjoyed your tale Candace. Funny how we can get tunnel vision about driving down the road of life. . My sister and I were travelling with friends years ago, and when we got to Barcelona we were given this ridiculous room. It was literally a broom cupboard. Years later we laughed about it and my sister said why didn't we just ask for another room, or go to another hotel? and I laugh thinking about it. This post reminds me of the reason my clients hire me. they cant see the right way to position their furniture, or how to display their objects. They are too close to their things to see options. I have my designer eye, I am not attached to their things, so I can clearly see what needs to be done.

Jennifer Duchene
The Home Makeover Mixtress blending cool & cozy style.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Duchene

@Jennifer Duchene, i had a similar experience with a hotel room except I DID speak up LOL. I was 21 years old and my dad took me to Las Vegas. They gave us a lovely room with mirrors on the ceiling and a huge Roman bathtub in the middle of the room. I said "Uh daddy, I love you but....". We called the front desk and requested another room, however we did request the same room for when I came back months later on my honeymoon :)

Regarding a new, fresh perspective, you are so right in that sometimes people are too close to their own situation - not only in your business - but also in areas like proofreading, website copy and marketing in general. Not only can we offer our clients a different perspective, we can also offer them a professional one backed by years of experience.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Weishaar

What an entertaining and enlightening post! I feel a New Yorker cartoon in the future :)

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBruce Barone

Thank you all for such wonderful comments. I thoroughly enjoyed everyone else's 'duhhh' moments. We all have them, it's just whether we take something away from them that matters. I apologize for not being able to respond to each of you personally since our webhost doesn't not have that capability (they are working to change it!). But I really enjoyed all your insights and stories of how you've been helped in your business and personal lives by these moments. It is so good not to get stuck in your rut and to be able to just take a step back. I think that's an art and one to practice. Thanks all!

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCandace C. Davenport

To be honest, Candace, I have far TOO many "duhhh" moments to list here. I will say, though, that each one has been an eye-opening darn good lesson!

It's very difficult sometimes to open your mind and shift your thoughts away from the situation (or crisis) at hand in order to find solutions. It's almost as if your feet are stuck in cement and the neurons stop connecting in your brain. Very paralyzing.

Delightful story!
Melanie

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie Kissell

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