Here’s another Creative Whack from Roger von Oech, creator of the Creative Whack Pack – a deck of 64 amazing cards to “whack” us out of old and habitual ways of thinking, allowing us to see with fresh eyes and an open mind.
I like the message of this card in particular. I don’t know about you, but I get into ruts from time to time. I am in a pesky rut these past couple of weeks as a result of allowing negative people in the workplace get to me. People who are so old-fashioned and stiff, I feel like I have to salute them.
Needless to say, my workplace operates with a very old-fashioned mindset. The work I am doing now is the same kind of work people were doing in the early 1980’s. Not only are the tools I have to work with antiquated, so is the vision of some people in my workplace. That’s what happens, I guess, when the leaders in an organization stay in positions for years and years. It’s always good when outside perspectives are allowed in. Allowed is the operative word, however. Therein lies the rub.
It’s like how Jeff Ashton describes the personalities of Cindy and Casey Anthony in his new book, Imperfect Justice. (Which I am really enjoying but only half way through.) When you refuse to accept new ideas; if you refuse to see the reality of your current state of affairs, any new idea or new vision is exorcised in favor of the habitual comfort of old ways of thinking. Cindy Anthony grew so used to Casey’s lies, she began to accept them as reality so as not to shake the boat.
Jeff Ashton writes:
From all that we’d seen of their interactions and heard from those around Cindy, it was unlikely that she would ever admit the unvarnished truth about Casey. It was a lethally toxic co-dependent relationship. One person was skilled at lying to others, while the other was skilled at lying to herself.
Cindy Anthony would not allow herself to see the truth about Casey: “Cindy was in denial about her daughter on a colossal scale,” wrote Jeff Ashton.
That is why this message is so important. We have to look beyond what we know and discover new ways of seeing. If we continue to do the things that are comfortable, we grow complacent, dull, and miss the really important stuff, like pretending the smell of human decomposition is really pizza.