Eureka

This morning, Beth decided we needed to fix our bed. When we moved into this furnished abode in Sullivan County, we knew that we wanted to replace the existing bed with our own. Unfortunately, I misplaced some of the original hardware pieces for the frame during the move, so we punted and made due with a slightly imperfect, temporary installation. It worked fine, but it wasn’t ideal.

Where did I put those friggin’ pieces?

Eventually, I realized that the pretty container on a shelf that I was sure held the cremated ashes of our last dog (Jessi) actually held the aforementioned hardware pieces. I don’t know how I figured that out, but miraculously, my mind opened up a previously closed door and what I thought were doggy ashes became bed frame hardware. Eureka!

The mind is a wonderful and mysterious thing. When Beth and I sat down to reconfigure the bed frame, this morning, we tried many different ways to get the hardware to work. No matter what we did, we could not figure out how to fit the pieces together. It was a Rubic’s Cube moment and we don’t like those kinds of puzzles. Or, I should say, we don’t like the discomfort of not knowing!

In time, I figured out how it all worked, but it took a quantum leap to get to the answer. My problem was that I was holding on to an assumption, a belief that wasn’t true. Prior to this moment, I was SURE that what I believed was a fact, that the pieces had to fit together in one way. I was attached to an incorrect assumption.

Author Carol Dweck defines moments like these as the difference between a FIXED MINDSET and a GROWTH MINDSET. I started with the former and, fortunately, found my way to the latter. Again, Eureka!

In your life, have you ever been absolutely 100% sure about something and then found out it wasn’t so? It’s a humbling moment, for sure, but it can also be a freeing experience.

When I discover a door in my mind that I didn’t know existed, then I have expanded myself. I have moved from limited to limitless and that’s something that we can all foster in ourselves. We can stop thinking, “I know” and start asking, “I wonder…”

Later in the day, Beth made a suggestion about a meeting that we have tomorrow. She offered a totally different way of approaching an issue than what I had composed in my mind. Thanks to her, we can offer the client two distinct choices. Not only was Beth being creative, but she was also showing flexibility. She helped move us from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset and – EUREKA – it was good!

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a man we honor not for his Nobel Peace Prize or his way with words (though both are awesome), but because he thought out of the box AND he acted upon his vision of equality with patience, persistence, support and – most importantly – faith. Listening to him, I recognize how a person can climb their own mountain, look over and see their own version of the Promised Land. It may begin with something as simple as trying something new on a bed frame or a proposal, but it can move to how we frame our choices in more important areas, too. May it be so for all of us. We need to dream… and having a good bed is a start!

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