Woman wearing blinders

Read post on Facebook that made me laugh — though sheepishly. A friend was telling a story on herself and I so recognized this behavior in myself as well:

You see this single mother of two had recently replaced her toaster. For years the four slice toaster she owned only worked on one side. In other words she had only been able to make two slices at a time for a minimum of three people eating. After years of this she finally had acquired a toaster with four working slots. Weeks later she realized she still had been making two slices at a time! Now maybe she, like me, she is not a morning person. In which case she was probably not thinking. Just going by habit. The point is that she was blind to the fact that she could now make three or even four slices of toast at the same time, even though she knew she could.

People do the same things in their lives. Frequently, when in search of new, better future —  be it life, career or some other aspect — they too are oblivious to options that they learned to ignore years before. Why? Because they are still wearing the blinders created based on past life messages, experiences and conditions. And most of the time they don’t even know they’re doing it.

So the question becomes how to take off blinders that you aren’t even aware you are wearing? There really is no easy answer. It’s not a one and done process. Metaphorically you need to open your eyes, then open them wider, and, most importantly, leave them open. Why go to all the effort? Because if there wasn’t something missing from their lives they wouldn’t be on the quest for improvement.

Often in our early lives we receive message about what are the good paths, the right path. And too many times we learn to ignore the heart-centered paths, the interest-centered paths due to these messages. In most cases the providers of those messages were well intentioned. The advice was based on their experience, their beliefs, their perceptions on what is right, what is normal, what has the most return. Or even to spare others their ‘mistakes.’

Well they are not you. And boy have things changed since the turn of the century. The corporate man is out. The innovative thinker is in. The lone wolf shooting star is out. The collaborator is in. The leader as a disciplinarian is out. The leader as a coach is in. I could go on. And the type of opportunities out there for employment and entrepreneurship and makers is in a complete state of flux.

I certainly can admit to wearing unacknowledged blinders. There are many example of this behavior in myself that can be shared. In fact, the first draft included one. But I decided to remove it in the interests of brevity. (you are welcome to ask though.)

My point is, even when you are teaching on the subject of blinders, you might just discover you are still wearing them yourself in many areas. So when in the quest for a better life and career it’s time to go back and look at all the interests not followed, the paths not taken; and see if the clues to your missing piece can be found there. But this requires becoming aware of what you’ve been taught not to see. Blinders you now wear from habit not desire. It isn’t easy but is worthwhile.

And, if you need some help with the career portion of that search, check out the new Masterclass offered at the University of Me. It’s a systematic way to explore your past, remove your blinders and create a better present and future.