Have you ever caught yourself committing an offense you find completely loathsome? I have. I do it all the time, actually. But I have to believe it’s part of human nature. A just cause to self reflect and keep on trucking.
I started thinking about this last night in class. I was starting a new course and wasn’t too excited. I was tired, hungry and really just didn’t feel like sitting for another four hours after working all day. By the time I sat down in class I had worked myself into a frenzy of negativity. I was convinced the class would be boring, the professor would be lame, the projects useless – all because I had the power to. I never once thought to reverse my perspective because at this point it was a full-fledged self fulling prophesy.
When the teacher walked in I immediately judged him based on his appearance. Longish hair? Unprofessional. Bright tie? Unsavvy. I even scoffed at his bio on the syllabus and the layout of his PowerPoint presentation.
Hello world, I’m an elitist.
Class began and I was pretty quickly proven completely wrong by this guy. Like, way wrong. He was brilliant. It was like sitting in a conference with Peter Bregman. As I contemplated how well the class was going my entire outlook improved.
It has been a long time since I’d been this interested and inspired by what someone else had to say. Everything out of his mouth was relevant and motivating. I generally keep quiet in class and rarely take notes, but last night I found myself engaging in conversations and taking down several pages.
Here’s the weird part – there was something mildly pleasant in being humbled this way. I can’t fully explain it, but it was somehow satisfying to feel like an idiot and experience a true paradigm shift.
This made me think about how many people and things I misjudge on a daily basis, based on looks or other trivial criteria. It also made me realize how much power we hold in our manner of thinking.
I can’t say I’ll be completely unbiased from here on out, because I’m not convinced that’s humanly possible, but I can say that this was cause to focus on being a bit more open-minded.