New Thinking

Most people like to hang around with people who are like them. They listen to people who think like they do. They talk to people who talk like them. They believe people who believe the things they believe. 

 

It is reassuring to have someone tell you that your thinking is correct. It is confidence building to have someone you think is often right tell you that you also are most often right. 

 

It is comfortable to not have your thinking or beliefs challenged by someone who thinks or believes differently than you do. 

 

It is also very limiting to your success. 

 

The most successful people listen to new ideas and concepts as often as they can find them. They listen to opinions different than their own with as open a mind as they can muster. They do not dismiss another person’s ideas because the person “is not like them” or because they have a very different background. 

 

The most successful people know that everyone they meet knows at least one thing that they don’t know. They are always on the lookout for that one thing. 

 

Successful people understand the reality that they will learn far more from people who think differently than they do then they will learn from people who think and act just like them. 

 

New thoughts and new ideas come from new listening. They come from interacting and conversing with people who might never be your friend but who can certainly be your teacher. 

 

Who knows, you might discover you have more in common than you would have ever imagined. If fact, you may have a new friend in the making. Get out of your comfort zone and reach beyond your circle of like-minded friends. If you want to expand your thinking then you will need to expand the type of people you let inside your head. 


New success seldom comes from old thinking. Refresh your thoughts and you just might discover a whole new level of success. 


Why Different is Good

Being better tomorrow than you are today requires that you do something different today than you did yesterday.

 

I think most of us, I know it’s true for me, are creatures of habit. I like doing the same things with the same people pretty much all the time. The people I like the most are the people who are just like me, they believe the same things I believe, the say the same things I say and they like to do the same stuff I like to do…or at least mostly. One thing not everybody I know likes to do is embrace different viewpoints. 

 

Now truth be told I don’t know if I actually “like” embracing different viewpoints but I do need to. I need to because I have a hunger to learn. I am a student of people and that means I need to understand them…no matter how different their life might be from my own.

 

Here’s the reality, and it’s not just my reality, it is your reality too… As much as I like being around people who are just like me I don’t learn very much from them. We are in agreement on most things, someone in the group says something and everyone nods their head in agreement. “You got that right” is a common refrain. 

 

It isn’t that I like disagreement or being disagreeable but often times it is in that discussion that follows disagreement that you learn. If, and it’s a big IF, if you are open to learning. If you honestly work to truly see things from the other person’s point of view. If you don’t just automatically think they are wrong because they don’t think like you or your friends.

 

It’s pretty tough to learn something new from people who are just like you. It’s even harder to learn something new from people who think exactly as you do. 

 

Never underestimate the fact that you could be wrong, about most anything. You might be the smartest person in the room, you may hold the loftiest position in your organization but that doesn’t automatically make you right about everything.

 

Search out people different than yourself. Invest time in understanding them. Don’t prejudge someone just because they “aren’t like you.” Listen to them and listen to understand them rather than listening for the sole purpose of responding. Understand that there isn’t anyone on earth who doesn’t have or know something they can teach you.

 

Read books with viewpoints you disagree with. Have lunch with someone you wouldn’t normally have a beer with after work. Watch FOX News AND CNN. (That’s almost like living in two different worlds) Genuinely try to see multiple sides of every argument. 


Don’t sacrifice your core values and principles but do try to understand where other people are coming from. Your may discover that if you were them you would think and act just like them. You’re likely to still disagree but at least you’ll understand why. You’ll almost certainly learn something about them and the odds are very good that you’ll learn even more about yourself.