Things That Happen

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image This is the first of a four-part series.

Not so long ago, I had the opportunity to enjoy a private presentation by one of our world’s most well known comedians. A true class act.

Many of us are familiar with Monty Python. Who would have thought that someone from that genre would be a person to reflect, deeply, on how we tend to think?

Mr. John Cleese visited with us for the better part of an hour. What an absolute pleasure, a surprise, when this fellow walked out in front of us after a lengthy, winding introduction. Not having said a word, his mere appearance elicited a standing ovation; clearly a well respected fellow.

With plenty of humorous anecdotal commentary Mr. Cleese proceeded to talk with us about how we all go about thinking. He helped us look at the way so many of us have been trained to ‘think’. There are two modes of thinking, he proposes, one is hare-brained and the other is tortoise-brained (credited to a book he read).

With the hare, everything is time bound, analytical, logical. With tortoise brain thinking is unstructured, even unexplainable, and absolutely runs away and hides when hint of time or stress or constraint is evident.

His contention is that so many of us in the business world are driven to think that quick, efficient, logical, thinking is the way things should be. If you can’t do hare-brained thinking you feel as though your productivity, intelligence, and overall value are in question.

Yet, so much of what is ‘creative’ thinking, whimsical, spontaneous, or from the gut, is pushed to the side and never allowed to surface. He proposes the thought that simply putting out a Do Not Disturb sign at times, allowing one time to think, can do a tremendous amount to help each of us add value to whatever it is we’re thinking about.

In between our bouts of stomach-tightening laughter, Mr. Cleese propels forward to remind us that, we need to make time for ourselves so we can think more effectively, to engage tortoise brain, and use hare brain to qualify tortoise’s output. It makes one tend to stop, and think. It made me realize it’s been a while since I simply stopped. Thought. Contemplated. Without giving in to the incessant need to execute crisply, quickly, productively—words of our contemporary business environment.

So, interestingly I did start thinking with something other than the pure analytical side, I mean my hare-brained, mind. Humorously enough one of the areas I started thinking about was of Things That Happen—while motorcycling. You know, there are a lot of things that have happened over the past 20 years of my riding.

This week, I’ll regale you with just a few Things That Happen.  You’ll get a few laughs, I’ll embarrass myself along the way, and encourage you to share your own stories.

(photo credit)