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You know less than you think

I read in one of Seth Godin’s post that we get so used to doing things a certain way that we fail to realize that there could be another way of doing the same thing faster and with much ease.

This got me thinking and I began to notice this in not only my work but also in the work of people around me.

We get so use to doing things a certain way that we stop thinking if there was another efficient way of doing it, till, someone comes along and shows it to us. It could be anyone. A student, colleague, an acquaintance.

Just anyone.

Just the other day, while using excel, and I use it for just about all my work, I wanted to add another point in the came cell. To do that I keep pressing the space bar till the cursor moves to the next line in the same cell. A colleague who noticed me doing that, casually said, ” you know, you can do that by pressing alt+return key”. 

Bingo! It was that simple! I thought of all the hours and days and years I have done what I was doing and then would also try to align the sentences to make them look neat… and wondering why was there not an easy way of doing this, but never really bothering to find out.

Lesson learnt that day: I know less than I think.

I recollect a lovely parable that I read somewhere and think it is important to remember and reflect on it once in a while.

A large truck was moving through a railway underpass when it got wedged between the road and the girders overhead. All the efforts of the experts to extricate it proved useless and the traffic was stalled for miles on both sides of the underpass. 

A young boy was trying to get the attention of the foreman but kept getting ignored. When the boy kept trying to speak to the foreman, the foreman in sheer exasperation,  asked him, ” I suppose you have come to tell us how to do this job.”

“Yes”, said the boy. ” I suggest you let some air out of the tires. 

Try finding ways of doing things better.

There is always a better way.

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