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a quote I saw

Posted Sep 16 2011 1:57pm

I'm not sure where I saw this quote, but I thought it was interesting, and also relevant for you guys. 

It was apparently said by Einstein, who, as we know, had quite a few brain cells and used them rather spectacularly:

"You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew."

I was thinking about the meaning of the quote yesterday when I was having that old standard discussion with someone about "why can't I just diet myself down to a good weight, and then once I get there I can do this recovery thing and eat balanced?"

You guys are familiar with that discussion. It seems so reasonable, right? You get to a weight you feel is decent/acceptable/whatever, and then you'll do things differently... yeah, well we all know how that goes. Not well. The only way out of that cycle is to approach eating differently. To look at it in a new way.

The quote applies to so many places in life. It certainly applies to relationships. If we meet someone new, someone we think we might want to be friends with, if we're not thoughtful and aware, we might by default approach this new relationship from a vantage-point that's outdated or ill-fitted to this particular potential friendship.

Lots of times when someone comes to see me for the first time they figure I'm going to be "just like (insert person here- their mother, old therapist, elementary school teacher...)"

I have no idea what those other people might be like, but I can say for sure that I'm me, and I'm unique- and whatever relationship they develop with me will be new and unique also. But if they get stuck in old thinking and old ways of seeing things, they'll have a hard time seeing me for who I really am, and we'll have a hard time developing a real relationship based on who the two of us truly are.

School and career work can benefit from this quote also, right? Sometimes we come across a problem or situation that, in order to solve it, we need to look outside the usual box we think in. We need to challenge ourselves to try to see it in a new light. Sometimes that is as simple as turning a math equation upside down and looking at it that way (yes, I really have done that with some algebra equations in high school- and yes, it did actually help), or getting up and walking around the living room for a minute or two. Sometimes is requires a bit bigger intervention. 

This is why clinicians get consultation. And why teachers have coaches or principals come and observe them while they are teaching. And why CEOs or other leaders have advisory boards. Because it's helpful to have differing views on things. (No, it doesn't mean you are a failure if you ask for advice or consultation.... sheesh... it only means you are normal, and it means that you are not being perfectionistic! It can also mean you want to learn, and that you are wise enough to know that you just might not know everything, and courageous enough to reach out to learn more.)

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