From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – I have been listening to the same radio station for over twenty years. And because many of the hosts have been there for a long time, their voices are now part of my psyche. In fact, I sometimes catch myself when I am reading a book, and realize that all of the voices in my head for the characters in the book are in fact the voices I hear on the radio each day.
I have been listening at work through the internet since the pandemic keeps me alone in my office quite a bit more than used to be the norm. So, the other day I was actually looking at the website and caught a glimpse of one of the hosts whose voice I know so well. And I realized, he does not look anything like the person I had formed in my mind over these last decades. And why should he? How in the world did I come to create a picture in my head of what Bill Anderson should look like?
This experience reminded me that our brains are doing this kind of thing all the time – categorizing, pattern seeking, looking to put everything in a predictable chart. And I think this is a well-designed system, keeping us from getting overloaded with new data and images all the time. And like my radio host, who epicly failed to fit into my creative imaging, I think there are a lot of things that we can just sleepily slot over and over again into our boxes without a closer look – the drive to work with its predictable roadside, the work relationship that grates on your nerves and never seems to get better, the wild opinions and theories that we hold tight to because everything we see seems to reinforce our position.
Years ago, I took training in Outward Mindset and there was an exercise called the Collusion Box. It was powerful as it showed that we quickly adopt a certain way of responding to people based on judgments, and we get trapped in this collusion box and never really see the relationship from another angle.
So just like the new-to-me face of Bill my favourite radio host, when you can, look with different eyes, crush the boxes of your catalogue system, take a fresh look at everything. You will see things new, all over the place.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com