Nothing new

Humans are story builders. Whatever we experience must fit into a story that makes sense.

In a way, you could say that we are “sense makers”. We take what we experience and make sense of it.

Disaster strikes when we are predisposed with what makes sense. Like when we hear some information and quickly dismiss it as something that we already know. Or as just another fact that supports are opinion.

This becomes very obvious in know-it-all people. But to a degree we all fall prey to this effect. I bet that – just like me – you’ve observed yourself being bored by some communication because it’s nothing new.

Yet, what really happened was that our brain wanted to spare some thinking effort and quickly made some sense of the information: the nothing new sense.

Quite likely, we just lost a learning opportunity. We lost the opportunity to discover a new meaning in the things that we seemed to know already. We lost the opportunity to connect the dots in a new way. Or look from someone else’s perspective.

My friend Ariana Friedlander said it like this:

If you’re tired of hearing the same old thing over and over again, perhaps it’s time you changed how you listened!

And that, of course, begins by starting to actually and openly listen. The perfect time to make sense of something is after you listened to it, not before.

PS: Ariana just launched her Leadership Circle, a community of leaders who genuinely care about others. It’s a great place to be if sometimes things feel overwhelming and the weight of responsibility you carry feels lonely. Ariana’s Leadership Circle offers you a chance to gain camaraderie while doing the inner work to be the leader your people and vision deserve. Here’s more info:

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Dr. Michael Gerharz

Dr. Michael Gerharz


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