www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Embarrassing economists -10/24/2014, 9:13 AM

Sherow for House -10/24/2014, 9:13 AM

It can't get crazier (wanna bet?) -10/24/2014, 9:04 AM

Digital distractions -10/23/2014, 10:01 AM

Orman for Senate -10/23/2014, 10:01 AM

Federal persecutors -10/23/2014, 10:00 AM

Kids do count -10/22/2014, 10:31 AM

Needing the past in the future? -10/22/2014, 10:31 AM

In praise of hunting -10/22/2014, 10:30 AM

What is a CID? Will it work for mall? -10/21/2014, 10:22 AM

Judging importance on the ballot -10/21/2014, 10:22 AM

Kansas Speaks -10/21/2014, 10:22 AM

Paying for schools -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Joining forces for Orman -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Research before voting -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Davis is moderate? -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

The most important election in your lifetime -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Huelskamp stands out -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Kansas farm interests -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Keeping unfounded reports from 'going viral' -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

The age of cynicism -10/18/2014, 9:02 AM

Preventable diseases -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Second term needed -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Kansans deserve better -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Officially killing Americans -10/17/2014, 10:27 AM

New era at FHSU -10/16/2014, 10:01 AM

Roberts is right choice -10/16/2014, 10:01 AM

Crumbling Constitution -10/16/2014, 9:52 AM

Redbelly's future -10/16/2014, 9:52 AM

Kansas deserves better -10/15/2014, 10:23 AM

Remember to vote on Nov. 4 -10/15/2014, 10:23 AM

You almost feel sorry for Sean Groubert -10/15/2014, 10:23 AM

Register to vote -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Living on that 70 percent -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

New bullying problem for schools: parents -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Cheerios, marriage equality, the Supreme Court -10/13/2014, 9:49 AM

Wedded bliss -10/12/2014, 5:54 PM

Who is the real fraud? -10/12/2014, 5:08 PM

Teenagers 'make some noise' -10/12/2014, 5:08 PM

Not so private property -10/10/2014, 10:01 AM

Federal funding -10/10/2014, 10:01 AM

Teacher indoctrination -10/10/2014, 10:01 AM

Vote Republican -10/9/2014, 9:49 AM

Non-partisan politics -10/9/2014, 9:49 AM

Teen driver safety week Oct. 19 to 25 -10/9/2014, 9:04 AM

FHSU party -10/9/2014, 10:11 AM

Poverty in America -10/9/2014, 10:11 AM

Let the women serve -10/9/2014, 10:11 AM

Time for new direction -10/8/2014, 9:49 AM

Improving Kansas economically -10/8/2014, 9:35 AM

Water abusers -10/8/2014, 9:35 AM

Play safe on the farm -10/8/2014, 9:34 AM

Where the money comes from -10/7/2014, 10:24 AM

The president's security -10/7/2014, 10:24 AM

Marriage equality -10/7/2014, 10:24 AM

The sins of the father are visited -10/6/2014, 9:02 AM

Cannabis in America: The bottom line -10/6/2014, 9:20 AM

A reason to celebrate -10/6/2014, 9:20 AM

Gov. shields wealthy from paying for schools -10/5/2014, 2:07 PM

Passionate protest in defense of civil disorder -10/5/2014, 2:07 PM

October is time for baseball and, of course, film premieres -10/4/2014, 2:16 PM

Alley cleanup -10/3/2014, 10:01 AM

Will the West defend itself? -10/3/2014, 10:01 AM

Find another school -10/3/2014, 10:01 AM

It's better now -10/2/2014, 9:17 AM

The answer is to bomb Mexico? -10/2/2014, 9:17 AM

Falling revenue -10/2/2014, 9:17 AM

School facilities -10/1/2014, 9:27 AM

Look ahead, not back -10/1/2014, 9:27 AM

Secret Service needs to step up its game -10/1/2014, 9:27 AM

Roosevelts were true leaders -9/30/2014, 9:18 AM

Moral bankruptcy -9/30/2014, 9:18 AM

Expect some sort of change in Topeka -9/30/2014, 9:18 AM

'A tale of two countries' -9/29/2014, 9:59 AM

The last of the Willie Horton ads? -9/29/2014, 9:59 AM

Finding answers to the future of Kansas -9/28/2014, 2:20 PM

College: Where religious freedom goes to die -9/28/2014, 2:20 PM

Honoring Hammond -9/28/2014, 2:20 PM

Do statistical disparities mean injustice? -9/26/2014, 9:53 AM

World university rankings -9/26/2014, 9:52 AM

Kansas experiment -9/26/2014, 9:52 AM

Two anti-choice parties -9/25/2014, 10:03 AM

Not in the same old Kansas anymore -9/25/2014, 10:03 AM

Domestic violence -9/25/2014, 10:03 AM

Back to war we go -9/24/2014, 9:55 AM

Piling on the NFL -9/24/2014, 9:54 AM

Emma Watson looking for a few good men -9/24/2014, 9:54 AM

Renter runaround -9/23/2014, 7:32 PM

Enough is enough -9/23/2014, 9:02 AM

Life of politics in the state -9/23/2014, 9:02 AM

What is and is not child abuse -9/22/2014, 9:30 AM

Cannabis politics and research -9/22/2014, 9:30 AM

Future of The Mall -9/21/2014, 6:14 PM

Multiculturalism is a failure -9/19/2014, 9:52 AM

State education rankings -9/19/2014, 9:52 AM

Kobach gone wild -9/19/2014, 9:52 AM

Bias prevents civil discussion of education issues -9/18/2014, 9:35 AM

Immigration is American -9/18/2014, 9:35 AM

Costs to states not expanding Medicaid -9/17/2014, 10:14 AM

Medicare threats -9/17/2014, 10:12 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Whack on the side of the head

Published on -1/10/2013, 8:18 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

There's an old saying sometimes you need a good whack on the side of the head. Nothing could be truer today in this speeding world of instantaneous communication.

While there are countless ways of doing so, many of us remain tied to the comfort of doing something in the same way. As a result, it becomes more difficult to think about doing it any other way.

It's time for all of us to break out of this rut of familiarity. Let's begin by looking somewhere else.

Finding new ideas or a new way of doing something is akin to prospecting for gold. If you look in the same old places, you'll find tapped out veins. On the other hand, if you venture off the beaten path, you'll improve your chances of discovering new ideas.

* Crawl out of your comfort zone.

Every culture, industry, business or organization has its own way of looking at the world. Often the best ideas come from exploring the way others in different walks of life do things.

"Anyone can look for fashion in a boutique or history in a museum," journalist Robert Wieder said. "The creative explorer looks for history in a hardware store and fashion in an airport."

Where will you look?

* Borrow ideas.

Throughout history people have used novel and interesting ideas others have used successfully. Our ideas must be original only to their adaptation to the problem we're working on at the time.

* Dig deeper.

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it's the only one we have. Never stop with the first right answer you find. Look for others.

How do you keep a fish from smelling?

Grill it as soon as you catch it. Keep a cat around. Burn incense. Cut its nose off.

Remember, the best way to find a solution to something is to come up with lots of them.

* See the big picture.

In 1866, an Iowa farmer watched the construction of the transcontinental railroad near his fields. After seeing the track laid and a locomotive steam by he thought, "So that's what railroading is all about: tracks and trains."

What didn't he see?

That he could transport his products to more markets more quickly, and once there they would compete against products from many more places. That people could travel coast to coast in less than a week. That more ideas would be shared, and different people would meet and marry.

The Iowa farmer saw the steel and wheels, but he didn't see the consequences. Look for the larger implications of an idea. Look at the big picture.

* Expect the unexpected.

Columbus was looking for India. Bell was trying to invent a hearing aid. Often what you're looking for leads to something entirely different.

* Listen to that hunch.

Your subconscious mind continually records and stores unrelated data from the outside world. Later, it combines these data into good answers, or what might be considered hunches.

If you simply ask, trust and listen, these hunches can sometimes lead to the right solutions.

* Look for the obvious.

"Only the most foolish of mice would hide in a cat's ear," designer Scott Love said. "But only the wisest of cats would look there."

See what's in front of your face or ear. Think about what you might be overlooking. The resources or solutions might be right in front of you.

* Ask a fool.

That's what the kings of old did to break out of the group-think environment their "yes-men" environment created. It was the fool's job to see any proposal or discussion underway in a fresh light.

Peter Sellers, the brilliant British actor, played this to perfection in his last movie, "Being There." He did so by extolling the trivial, trifling the exalted or reversing the common perception of a situation.

Here's an example. If a man is sitting on a horse backward, why do we assume it's the man who is backward and not the horse?

Never assume things are a certain way. Shake up people's assumptions, and this will allow them to see things differently, sometimes more clearly.

Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, "To those who are awake, there is one ordered universe, whereas in sleep each man turns away from the world to one of his own."

Your dreams can help resolve conflicts, refresh thinking, inspire solutions and suggest different approaches.

Follow your dreams.

John Schlageck is a leading commentator on agriculture and rural Kansas. Born and raised on a diversified farm in northwest Kansas, his writing reflects a lifetime of experience,

knowledge and passion.

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News