Posted in Daily, Personal Musings, Quotes, Reflections, Stories Around the World, Work

Across the Road

“The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings.” Kakuzo Okakura, The Book of Tea

While visiting the extended family as a part of the routine monthly road trip; travel sickness, traffic gridlocks and bad roads are major issues often encountered. Although one comes out of them to reach the farmstead, time is often lost. Consequently after two long journeys courtesy of road congestion, we had decided to leave a little early, around the wee morning hours. Although it was difficult packing up the family including toddler, pets and all for a two day stay; the task was accomplished with joint effort of both the adults. While the first journey was successful, the second was bad due to the unprecedented rains and really bad worn out roads. Consequently the route was adjusted to include the state highways. Though extra distance was covered, the journey was not hampered by bad roads or excessively heavy traffic. Change from the familiar and adaptability to the situation paved way for the smooth travel.

“I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.” Georg C. Lichtenberg

There may be similar instances in our lives, wherein one has to take a different route to reach the final target. Even though the final target is an appreciated goal, deflecting from the routine, known or approved approach encounters a lot of courage and foresight to go ahead, in the face of open opposition and criticism. A lot of security is often laid at doing something in the known way. While the “known” helps one many a time, at times it is necessary to try a different technique to achieve the purpose.

“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” Bill Clinton

Through history and time, to try again and not give up has been the requisite for achievement of any goal, dream or target. Yet constantly trying to find a way out through the tiny spaces of the bricks doesn’t help us cross the path, unless one remodels the bricks to a more suitable form. Simply putting in extra hours isn’t the sole method to achieve more. Instead finding an alternative method, correct, true and just with adequate effort, perseverance and determination combined with intelligence and smart honest work helps us reach the dream. When the stakes are solely set on “harder than ever” instead of “trying better, different and with thought”; the former may kill the chance of a breakthrough.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

I’m sitting in a quiet room at the Millcroft Inn, a peaceful little place hidden back among the pine trees about an hour out of Toronto. It’s just past noon, late July, and I’m listening to the desperate sounds of a life-or-death struggle going on a few feet away. There is a small fly burning out the last of its short life’s energy in a futile attempt to fly through the glass of the windowpane. The whining wings tell the poignant story of the fly’s strategy – try harder. But it’s not working. The frenzied effort offers no hope for survival. Ironically, the struggle is part of the trap. It is impossible for the fly to try hard enough to succeed at breaking the glass. Nevertheless, this little insect has staked its life on reaching its goal through raw effort and determination. This fly is doomed. It will die there on the windowsill.
Across the room, ten steps away, the door is open. Ten seconds of flying time and this small creature could reach the outside world it seeks. With only a fraction of the effort now being wasted, it could be free of this self-imposed trap. The breakthrough possibility is there. It would be so easy.
Why doesn’t the fly try another approach, something dramatically different? How did it get so locked in on the idea that this particular route, and determined effort, offers the promise of success? What logic is there in continuing, until death, to seek a breakthrough with ‘more of the same’? No doubt this approach makes sense to the fly. Regrettably, it’s an idea that will kill.
Author: Price Pritchett

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Henry Ford