Not a Stick
How often do you let your imagination soar? When you look at a stick, for example, what do you see? Is a stick simply a stick? Or is a stick something that you child sees as a horse to ride? How about a box? Is a box simply a box? Or is it something that you pack things in? Is it something that you put a gift it? Or could it be table where your child places her tea set on? Could a new way to look at everyday things be simply thinking about unusual uses for common items you use all the time.
I felt inertia setting in my life. You know that comfortable feeling that’s the kiss of death. To get a fast infusion of new ideas, I took a reading and learning sabbatical. It’s often reported in the media, that Bill Gates, while at Microsoft, took what he called Think Weeks. He dedicated time just for reading. Companies do not give employees the space to take time to read and reflect on the new information. So what’s a professional to do?
There comes a point in your life when you must take responsibility for your own career. You could take a course or two to learn new skills to use on the job. You could read books to elevate your level of thinking. And you could ask your company, for tuition reimbursement, or reimbursement for the price of the books you bought. They may say ‘No’ or they may say ‘Yes.’ But you’ll never know unless you ask.
To get into the habit of thinking differently, perhaps when you’re using an everyday item, think of other uses for them. Don’t stop at the first ideas that come to your mind. You want to get to the non-obvious uses.
Where is this coming from you might ask?
Not a Box
That’s a very good question. I’ve been reading ‘adult books’ in my quest to get an infusion of ideas to take my business to the next level. That’s a given and a must. I need new ideas and effective strategies to apply to my business, so that’s an inexpensive route to go. Inexpensive because I already own the books to read. Reading only ‘adult books’ – all work and no play – will make me a very dull person.
In my Kindle app, I found Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis, who is also an illustrator. I also own Not a Box by the same author. These children’s books are for up to Grade 1 students. You can read each book in five minutes. But as an adult, all of us, need to read books such as these two to tap into our imagination. As we grow up, we forget what it’s like to be childlike, and imagine what something could be.
Have you read?
Benefits of Adults Reading Children’s Books: Let Your Imagination Soar
We’re living in an age where change is normal. The people who will likely thrive are those who can imagine and create. Every day, you read that automation and artificial intelligence cause jobs to disappear. Yes that’s true. However, with every new technology you’ll have winners and losers. So there is an opportunity — an upside to new tech. If you’re one of the losers, take control of your career and up-skill to be a part of the winning team.
Here’s what I wrote after I read Not a Stick and Not a Box.
A New Way to Look at Everyday Things: Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis
Not a Stick is a children’s book. It’s interesting that the main character imagines many uses for a stick. What are innovative uses for some of the most common items? How about new ways to use resources and tools to make you more productive at work? What would happen if now and again you re-imagined the work you do? Would you be able to save the company some money? Would you be able to make the company some money? Is there a new way to look at everyday things at work?
A New Way to Look at Everyday Things: Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
Like Not a Stick, Not a Box helps you to imagine alternatives uses for common items.
These two books are written simply, yet they are very profound, if you take the time to dip below the surface. People often see things as they are, but not as they might become. Who might you become, if your co-workers view you as the person who is good at re-imagining situations?
A New Way to Look at Everyday Things: Implications
If we develop the habit of looking at things differently. And thinking about other uses for them, that’s a way to start the innovation process. Original work, work that’s creative, is not easy to copy. This makes jobs with these elements harder to disappear. How can you add creative elements to the work you do?
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