Learn Something New

I have lived in my home for over 18 years and have worked at the same place that entire time. I have taken the same route to work for years. But now with traffic getting progressively worse, I find myself looking for alternate routes. I go home one way during rush hour and another way at off peak times.

Not too long ago I left the office at quitting time. I had learned of a wreck to the east, so I headed home a completely new way, not exactly sure where the road led. A friend had told me of this "shortcut," but I had ignored him for years.

It was, as they say, a dark and stormy night. The road wound up and around a mountain, and it sure seemed liked I was lost. Then I reached a key intersection.


I could not believe where I was. I thought the road ended one place and much to my surprise it came out three miles closer to my home. I never knew. It was truly a shortcut, at least one to be considered during rush hour.

The crazy thing is I still remember a friend asking me when I moved to town how I went to work. "Do you go Murray Lane?" he asked. "No, I go interstate," I assured him.

Now, 18 years later I learned what he was talking about. Geez!

We box ourselves in with limiting thoughts.

  • We think we know what works.
  • We do things the same way every time.
  • Experience trumps innovation in our mind.
  • We tried that once, and it didn't work.
  • Tried and true is good enough for me.

Now it is true that not every new thing that comes down the pike is worthy of imitation. Some new ideas are just lame. And for that matter experience does count for something.

But if you aren't learning something new you are being left behind.

One other story. I bought some bottled water at my favorite warehouse store. I loved the water, but did not like that I had to use a bottle opener. Who got this idea past marketing is what I thought. I was so proud of myself for putting an opener in my satchel so I could enjoy the water at the office. This was clear thinking at it finest.

One day when my daughter was at the house she took one of the waters. The next thing I knew she was drinking it. "How did you get that opened?" I asked.

"I twisted it off."

My baby boomer mind saw the crimped cap and assumed it had to be pried off with an opener. My millennial daughter, who never has popped a top, just twisted.

Geez again.

Refusal to try something new. Limiting ourselves through outdated knowledge. This is a deadly combination.

This staying current is so hard. But not nearly as damaging as falling behind.

So, have you tried anything new lately?