I attended a public lecture earlier this week. During the session, a business school professor talked through a discovery driven by a contradiction to a very confident prediction. As the lecture unfolded I was struck by the humorous humility being expressed. He had been so sure when he started. When things did not play out as predicted, he chose to explore and reconstruct what had occurred. His goal was to understand with an open mind. The discoveries that followed radically reshaped his views of innovation.
As I shared my observation with a friend later, I could feel the momentum building in my voice. The fact that life turns out differently than I predict or assume that it will should not be a surprise, yet it often is. I am so sure I know what is going to happen. The underlying rationale has, after all, been tested and proven. When things turn out differently, I rarely step back to look at the difference. Reconstructing history was never a consideration.
In this case, the professor’s observations resonate with my life experiences. As powerful as the insight is, I am still coming to terms with what I can do with the new insight.
“What do you think?”
“I don’t know, but I am sure you are going to do great things with the insight.”
I find myself taking a fresh look at the glitches and inconsistencies in life’s outcomes versus what I assumed. It is time to reconstruct events with an open mind! Invitations can be taken as they are given, events analyzed with an openness to new patterns and paths.
I do not think this is a quest that one should pursue independently. Engaging others is critical if one wants to stay true to one’s purpose. From God to trusted friends, to each “I called out to him with my mouth, my tongue shaped the sounds of music.” (Psalm 66.17) It is time for a fresh look.
I will likely struggle to accept the discoveries that follow. I also know the process is essential for my growth.