Allow me to misinterpret that

‘If you’re merely following [shortcuts], you probably won’t get anywhere interesting.’*
(Seth Godin)

‘As the scholastics used to say: Homo non proprie humanus sed superhumanus est – which means that to be properly human, you must go beyond the merely human.’**
(Eugene Peterson)

I misread the text on a Hugh Macleod doodle:  I thought it read “Never lose the way,” it actually read “Never lose the why” but I liked the mistake.  Our Why? and our Way have a lot in common.  The way changes, disappears, re-appearing – sometimes completely somewhere else.  Our Why?, though, helps us through the invisible or hidden.  What we discover in the new helps us to avoid complacency and narrow-mindedness.  Indeed, it seems we must remain open-minded to have any mind at all.

Mistakes and misinterpretations can be our happy accidents moving us away from shortcuts to the familiar and  “Same again.”

I may ask someone a question about how they live out their talents with energy.  Their response indicates it’s not the right question.  I’ve misinterpreted or misunderstood something they’ve said.  I ask another question.  It’s still not quite right, but the responses have made me think of something different and I try another question.  This time something amazing opens up.  Richard Sennett’s words then make a load of sense:

‘A “flamboyant” worker, exuberant and excited, is willing to risk losing control over her or her work: machines break down when they lose control, whereas people make discoveries, stumble on happy accidents.’^

Paulo Coelho also exhorts us to move in this direction:

‘Seek out people who aren’t afraid of making mistakes and who, therefore, do make mistakes […] they are precisely the kind of people who change the world.’^^

We’re looking for Seth Godin’s detours, journeys where unexpected moments happen:

‘This “moment-spotting” habit can be unnatural.  In organisations, for examples, we are consumed by goals. […] The goal is the thing.

But for an individual human being, moments are the thing.’*^

(*From Seth Godin’s blog: Actual shortcuts often appear to be detours.)
(**From Eugene Peterson’s Run With the Horses.)
(^From Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman.)
(^^From Paulo Coelho’s Aleph.)
(*^From Chip and Dan Heath’s The Power of Moments.)


What do you want to most remind your people of?

You can create your own messages of encouragement for your walls.  Get in touch for a quote.


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