Treasure part one:
‘No way! That can’t possibly be true,’ screamed the refrain in my head. How could I not have known that all these years?
I was absolutely gobsmacked and giddy with curiosity.
The lowly thing that was causing my brain to explode? You probably have one of them near you. I’m talking about staplers.
If you have one handy grab it. Now turn it upside down.
Thanks to a Unilad video, I learned that all staplers have a button on the bottom. Push it and the metal plate on top rises up.
Here’s the cool part.
You can turn the metal plate to totally change the shape of the staple AND how many pages you can staple.
Turn it one way and it’s same ol’ same ol’. This is the default mode.
But turn it the other way and voila! A super easy, super cool hack. Note the change in shape of the staple! It allows you to staple more pages together.
Impressed? Delighted? Me too!
But it goes further. This simply easy hack got me thinking.
Treasure part two (aka stapler magic):
While ½ of my brain was delighted at this new discovery (confession time, I was in a state of total awe much to my partner’s amusement) the other ½ of my brain was thinking ‘Wow, how clever to have discovered a newfound treasure right under my nose.’
It begs the question, how many other solutions are staring us in the face without us knowing?
Tricky, devilish assumptions tend to get in the way of problem solving. You know, those sly sneaky fellows that block moving forward, resolving issues, being innovative etc.
And worse, those assumptions get buried deeper than Johnny Depp’s treasure in Pirates of the Caribbean, to become ingrained thinking habits like:
- There’s only one way forward
- It’s my way or the highway
This black and white kind of thinking affects the frame we see the world from. It narrows our view, restricts our thinking and becomes a tunnel we get stuck in.
In reality there are so, so many ways to move forward, to unravel conflict, resolve issues etc. Easing tension can be as simple as shifting your view and finding a hitherto hidden solution right in front of your nose (or in your desk drawer in the form of a stapler).
Here are two examples of how working to expand my thinking helped me out of some sticky situations.
- My kiddo makes dinner once a week. Sounds good right? Not initially. His picky palate set the stage for weekly battles for me to get a recipe from him so I could get the ingredients organized. Neither of us was happy with the arrangement until one day he suggested a recipe for me to make. Light bulbs exploded in my brain. Easy peasy. Now he gives me two recipes a week; one that I make (which feeds my desire to try new food) and one that he makes (bypassing the old struggle of me assuming I had to tell him what to make). Win-win.
- I recently was working with a colleague who was falling through on their commitments. Things that were supposed to be done by a certain time were inevitably late. When I took a moment to step back and dig out my assumptions I realized this person was actually super overwhelmed and in over their head. I was able to power up my empathy as it dramatically affected the lens I viewed the situation through.
Whether it be through a hidden button on a stapler, new ways to ease dinnertime cooking in your home or working more smoothly with colleagues, shift your view and you’ll shift your perspective.
So dig yourself out of that tunnel and enhance your view. Perspective enhancing means opening up to ease, hitherto hidden solutions and moving forward. Can I get an amen?!