…hoping to transform it into a door.” – Coco Chanel
This week’s quote has been attributed to Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel (better known as Coco Chanel), a French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand.
This is a timely quote for me because much of the personal learning and development that I’ve engaged in lately has been heavily steeped in the abstract. And as someone that has – professionally speaking – spent much of the last several years dealing with (mostly) concrete challenges, figuring out how to efficiently switch back and forth between these modes of thought has at times been… a trying process.
This is because – quite frankly – shifting between utilizing the work skills required to resolve people issues during the day to tackling much more abstract problems (for learning and development purposes) at night is a sharp departure from what I’m used to doing. But I also recognize that being able to use both sides of my brain at a high level will position me to maximize my ability to add value.
As a practical matter, this has meant being more purposeful in the way I use my time; specifically identifying which habits and behaviors help me quickly shift between modes of thought, and culling those which undermine that process. By doing this I’ve gotten much better at learning quickly from both my successes and failures, allowing me to transition quickly into the mental space I need/want to be in.
…So as we get started this week, I would encourage you adopt habits that allow you to learn fast. Be diligent about trying new things, and surgical in the way you examine the fruitfulness of your efforts. If something isn’t working then give it some space, then try another way. By constantly modifying your approach when you aren’t making progress, you will expose yourself to more points of view, expand your thinking, and ultimately be more effective in your problem solving.
I think that I have this one right… but perhaps not? As always, one way or another please share your thoughts in the comments section below.