"We don't see things the way THEY are,
we see things the way WE are."
Dr. Paul Hegstrom
We're Certainly Blind
All mammals have blind-spots. That about says what you should know about self-awareness, self-understanding and growth. Blind-spots are called scotoma's. We're wired from birth to NOT see some things, and as a result we believe the world IS as we see it, rather than realizing we don't ACTUALLY HAVE THE ABILITY. We see a large part of the world, but the small part WE DO NOT SEE makes a HUGE difference.
"Joy Covey, who served as Amazon.com’s first chief financial officer from 1996 to 2000, was killed in a bike accident in Silicon Valley. She was pronounced dead at the scene after colliding with a minivan while riding her bicycle on Skyline Boulevard near her home in Woodside, California."
Being unaware of our scotomas can physically kill us. Both the driver and Joy were in each others 'blind-spot'. The driver was not charged. In business, scotomas are responsible for delays, conflicts and failures. If your ally or partner turn out to be fakes, liers, cons... well then, you have a really big problem to solve. Being aware of potential 'faults', built-in blind-spots can help avoid it all.
The first step in recognizing a better tool or route is to be aware of existing preconceptions, incorrect beliefs and outright errors. The index card demonstrates this. Don't 'think' you get the point without actually doing the exercise - that would be a psychological scotoma. Here's the point:
Adding (+) versus Multiplying (x)
Mathematics taught us to add: 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 8
Algebra taught us to multiply: 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 16
We're Surrounded by Exponential Change We Don't See
We're in an age of rapidly accelerating change. We're not capable of seeing how fast that change is changing. We simply live our lives thinking math... all the while things are converging exponentially around us. Robots, machine learning, 3D printing, infinite compute, regenerative medicine... the list goes on.
And so you will miss opportunities to avoid disaster simply by being in a hurry and skipping the point I'm attempting to make.
- close your left eye
- The x should be to your right.
- fixate (stare) at the + with it straight in front of your right eye and about a foot away
- While staring at the + (left eye closed) SLOWLY move closer to the card while being aware of the x in your peripheral vision.
- Then SLOWLY move your face away from the card. You will find a distance where the x symbol disappears.
- Moving fast doesn't help. Take your time. It's subtle, but very noticeable.
Once you are aware of the focal distance when the x is not visible, flip the card over so the x is on the left. Do the same exercise with your right eye closed while fixating on the + with your LEFT eye. You'll see a similar blind-spot in your left eye.
Opportunities come DISGUISED as Challenges
The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius believed that the obstacle we face IS the way. In other words; don't avoid challenges - look them straight in the face from different points of view and you'll see the solution clearly.
We only see part of the world. If we believe the world is all about ADDING, then MULTIPLYING isn't in our field of vision.
By acknowledging we ALL HAVE BLIND-SPOTS we can become much more self-aware which opens the door to all sorts of opportunities disguised as challenges.
For example: becoming platform owners rather than content creators. (more on that later)