The other morning, I was sitting in my sunroom, enjoying my bacon and eggs. It was shaping out to be a gorgeous day, and it felt so great to just take in all of the beauty around me. The sun was shining, the grass outside was cut to perfection, the water fountains spouting about, and the robins nearby were enjoying a water bath.
I noticed a robin that flew away from all his Robin friends, and he sat atop our fence-post, directly across from one of the windows in our sunroom. He sat there and stared at the plants that we had inside the sunroom.
As if he was working up the confidence to do it, he jumped up and tried to fly to the plants, which were, of course, on the other side of the sunroom window. With a loud “KLUNK”, he smashed into the window and fell to the ground. I felt like I was living in a Windex commercial!
The robin gets up off the ground, shakes it off a little bit, and flies back up to the fence-post. Again, he stared at the plants in our sunroom, jumped up and tried to fly to them. He hit the window again, and fell back to the ground. Once again, he flew back up to the fence-post.
Do you think he learned his lesson? Of course not! He jumped up and tried to fly to our plants, again. I am starting to really feel bad for this Robin, now. Doesn’t he realize that there is a window there?
He gets up, flies back to the top of the fence-post, and, well, I think that you can guess what happens next.
I thought – how many times in our lives are we like this Robin? How many times are we trying to get something, trying to reach something, trying to convince someone of something, and we are so stuck on that end goal that we are blinded and don’t realize what else may be in the way – like a pane of glass!
Insanity can be defined as the act of continually trying the same action time after time, expecting different results each time. Well – this Robin was definitely insane! He continually tried to fly to those plants, the exact same way, expecting that one of those times, he would make it.
But we do this all of the time! How many times are we trying to get our way in our relationships, and we insist and persist and push, and we shout “Why don’t you just see things my way”? It’s because you are continually trying the same thing, expecting the other person’s point of view to change. You can’t continually persist, and expect to get a different result out of it.
It’s the same way in our businesses – how many times have you had the “end goal” cloud your view of what was actually happening? I hear about it all of the time when other photographers say that they don’t do very well in sales presentations. They always say “no matter how much I try and upsell them, they won’t buy extra prints”. It’s because you’ve got your thinking all backwards! When you are focused too much on the end goal – upselling your clients to buy more prints, you are clouding up the process and your view of what is happening right in front of you. You probably come off as pushy, and somewhat like a “used car salesman”. Instead, change your focus – fly around the window, if you will. Focus more on getting your client what they want and need. Then, everything else will just fall in to place.
Think about that next time you are struggling to reach something – whether it be your goal, your point of view, or whatever it is. Sometimes we just need to take a different angle and try to “fly around the glass”.