Success Starts Early - Blind Spot

My oldest daughter recently got her driver's license, although she's technically had a vehicle for a while now.  About a year ago, my in-laws were going to buy a new car and decided to give her their old SUV instead of trading it in.  It was a great gift for her and she quickly set about the process of personalizing the inside to her preferences.  As I taught her to drive, it wasn't uncommon for me to try to convince her to try my car once in a while.  After all, I drive a sports car and I thought she'd leap at the chance to get behind the wheel of something a little more "fun" than a small SUV.  But no, she never wanted to!  One of the reasons she gave was the fact that it was difficult to see all the way around my car, but her SUV had more windows and better visibility behind the wheel when she wanted to change lanes.  In life, sometimes we have a similar issue - there are things around us we don't notice, even though they're obvious to others.  We call that area our blind spot

Hold up the first finger on each hand at arm's length in front of you, and then begin moving them away from each other to either side of your head.  At some point you'll lose sight of your fingers, and be blind to everything behind your hands.  There's nothing you can do to make it go away - it's just a function of where your eyes are located on your head, just like the blind spot in a car is determined by where the mirrors and windows are placed.  You can, however, make things worse by closing your eyes, not turning your head to maximize your range of vision, placing objects in your way, or not listening to those who are able to warn you about what you can't see. 

Obviously this post isn't just about driving or eyes.  So what's the point?  What kind of things do you not immediately notice?  If you're a big-picture thinker, maybe you're missing out on the details.  If you tend to focus on process and technique, perhaps it's the people skills you've overlooked.  All of us have talents and tendencies that can make us successful, but it is often helpful to enlist the helpful guidance of individuals who see things differently and provide a new perspective.  It can be mutually helpful, because you may be able to do the same for them!  Imagine two people standing back-to-back, and you'll realize that not much can escape their attention.  Just don't cause yourself unnecessary problems by refusing to admit your limitations or by adding distractions that will block more of your view - that's like closing one eye or covering a window! 


Before asking a mentor for blind spot guidance, try asking a friend.  Maybe they'll catch something you're missing!  Don't be defensive, just listen to what they say. 


Look up additional detail on the Johari Window, a concept developed by a pair of psychologists, Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham.  Created in 1955, this model helps identify and define things that are known and unknown to ourselves and others. 


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