I was chatting with a friend of mine in L.A., and he told the most hilarious story about attending an event with one of his buddies.
It was a beautiful, warm southern California day with the sun shining brightly. The people in the bleachers at a kids’ soccer game were getting in a bit of tanning time while watching their children play. His friend was holding his little baby, who’d been dressed by his wife that morning. The child was in an adorable turtleneck onesie, complete with matching pants and socks. He’d just eaten. He’d just napped. He arrived a happy, well-dressed baby.
As the game progressed, the baby started crying and wouldn’t stop. What was the problem? “How can I get him to be quiet?!?” gritted the father through his teeth.
A woman who was seated under a canopy at the top of the bleachers called down to him, “Sir, why don’t you bring your baby up here and sit in the shade?”
“No thanks. We’re OK down here.”
“Sir, it’s really not a problem. I think you’d be more comfortable up here where it’s cooler.”
“No, really, it’s OK. I’m not sure what’s wrong, but I’ll get him to stop crying.”
But the baby kept on crying. Daddy was trying to figure out how to make him be quiet so as not to disturb everyone around them. He made funny faces, he made strange sounds, he sang, he turned the baby in all directions…nothing worked. The baby kept on crying and crying.
Finally, the woman called down, “Sir, if your baby could talk, he’d tell you, ‘Get this frickin’ outfit off me. It’s too damn hot to be wearing it!’”
A roar of laughter went through the crowd, and the man brought his baby up into the shade. He took off the child’s outfit. The crying stopped.
Sometimes we’re so buried in a situation that we only look at what the symptoms are, instead of the causes. We know we’re stressed and spinning our wheels and that there’s got to be a way out, but we just don’t see it – because we focus on the unhappiness or discomfort we have instead of figuring out what exactly is causing things to go wrong.
Have you ever thought about what your calendar would say to you about how overpacked it is? Or what your desk would say to you about how it was “dressed”? Or what your brain would say when you have it scattered in ten different directions?
Can you step outside of yourself to look at your situation the way someone else might view it? Or do you keep your blinders on and keep doing the same old thing?
It’s human nature to do the latter. That’s why it’s important to make a conscious effort to do the former, or bring in someone who will force you to look at your situation from a different perspective. No matter which option you choose, the important thing is to take that brave step forward and do it. Free yourself. Blinders be gone!