Friday, July 06, 2007

LNB #044: Where is a Mirror a Doorway?

Only in our fevered imaginations.

While on vacation, I observed my expensive (but not very bright) purebred cat checking out her temporary new digs. She touched everything in the hotel room and got poleaxed at the full-length mirror. Believing it to be a doorway to a magical new world, she began frantically digging for gold on the face of the mirror. Every few minutes all through the evening, she'd stop and gaze longingly at that mirror, expecting it to become something else.

Don't giggle at my simple beast: we do this all the time.

Expecting that mirror to really be a doorway, we...

  • Try to retain problem employees (when we know they'll never work out),
  • Pretend that our horrible jobs will be wonderful tomorrow (with exactly the same boss and business culture as before),
  • Expect that a flawed business partnership will turn itself around (when we know that a little more pressure should set off even more pyrotechnics),
  • and much more.

Why do we keep doing this to ourselves? Several reasons. We find it hard to tell the "stank nekkid truth" to ourselves and others, instead pretending that we can put lipstick on that pig and pretend it's Nicole Kidman. In other cases, we're too into it to be able to judge whether we've gone beyond what a reasonable person would take (or do). Getting another head involved can provide the perspective you need to see things more clearly. Finally, we get so invested in forcing and outcome and making it work that we lose track of the end-game--what we're really up to.

Now, where are you treating a mirror like a doorway to that glorious new (but entirely fictional) dimension in your business dealings?

Listen Now: 14:52

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