This is a repost from my other blog which I am moving here now
Recently the kitchen got new appliances. After they had been installed and the delivery crew had left, I realized that the fridge door handle was on the opposite side (compared to the old fridge). I didn’t think too much of it. “I’ll get used to it”, I said to myself; “Not a big deal.”
But now, every time I went to open the door, I would automatically reach to grab the door handle where it used to be, only to be reminded that now the handle was on the other side.
Bear with me, please … this is really not about the fridge but rather to illustrate a point… two points, in fact.
The interesting thing here is that the new fridge is the same brand as the old one. When it first arrived, looking at the inside configuration from the other side (the side from which I was opening the door), I thought, "This fridge is bigger than the previous one and… oh my goodness… the inside layout is so different! - this could take some getting used to.”
I had arranged the food in the same areas I used to do in the old fridge, just so that I have some sort of familiarity with my system (aiming for efficiency and making it easier to find things.) It’s enough that I am now doing the ‘martial dance” with my arms every time that I try to open the door on the old side.
A few weeks went by and I was still reaching for the handle on the wrong side of the fridge. To the rescue came a technician to switch the door handle back.
Guess what happened: Even though the door handle was now where it used to be, I found myself going to the opposite side! Unaware, I had been in the process of creating a new habit.
So now the door handle is back on the same side as it had been for the last four years. Here is the really interesting thing: Once the door handles were changed back, I realized that the fridge on the inside is exactly the same as the fridge before. The inside layout is exactly the same as the old fridge (with a slightly bigger capacity).
This made me reflect. The exact same item, with the exact same layout on the inside, looked completely different when I opened it from the other side. A different angle meant a different perspective.
Which made me realize that this applies to so many things in life and in business.
We're used to doing things a certain way and so we do things the same way. Maybe we just need to take a moment to step away and look at our lives, our businesses and ourselves from a completely different angle.
It took a fridge door to make me think of the importance of perspective, and also of breaking habits.
So there are two “aha!”s here:
1. We already know it takes a while to create new habits. It’s important to be aware that, with repetition, the new habit is forming even if it may not seem so for a while, even though you may be still be pushed to go a different direction in the meantime. Stick with it. It will come.
2. The same things can look very different and very fresh from a different angle. From time to time, take a moment to step away and look at your business--and yourself--from a new and completely different point of view. It will pay off.