See that chair in that picture? I was sitting on it. This was a meet up in a 5 star hotel in Gurgaon.
I was baffled. They were serving awesome delicious starters. I had missed lunch and was totally salivating.
There were many waiters serving food on tables. However, while they were serving everyone else, they were all avoiding me!
They just won’t walk up to me. The people on the other tables were all served, one by one, as I watched with anticipation. Even the person next to me was served. But they were totally avoiding me.
WTF? What is going on? I started feeling frustrated first.
Then I begin to wonder what was wrong. My first thoughts were if there is something wrong with me!
Is it my clothes? Am I too underdressed for this? After all, most people were wearing three piece suits and I showed up in a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers as usual. Is that why?
Was there something else? What could it be?
It seemed like I am being discriminated against!
Why are these waiters conspiring against me?
Should I signal them to come to me? I decided against it because I would disrupt the speaker as I was sitting right in the front row.
I waited and waited. And still didn’t get served.
At some point I looked back. Then I realised what was going on. Right behind me the cameraman had set up shop. His camera was hovering over me. The waiters were avoiding blocking the camera. As a result, I wasn’t getting food!
The camera was in my blind spot. And I was thinking so much! Suddenly what the waiters have been doing began to make sense.
There was no big mystery. If I saw the big picture, I would have known within a second right in the beginning. I would have shifted to another chair instead of agonizing over this perceived mystery.
But I was seeing only a part of the picture, and was confused. The picture did not make sense because I was assuming that reality was limited to my field of vision.
That’s what we always do. We believe that what we see, hear or know is the entire picture. We forget that there are things happening beyond our field of vision or immediate understanding.
I wish I made this kind of mistakes only on such small matters. Blind points are too many. We have blind points in every situation and we often fail to take that into account.
Do you find the world or your profession to be unfair?
Do you think that there is a mystery about why you are not getting the success you believe that you deserve?
Do you think your boss treats you unfairly?
Do you think that the odds are always stacked against you and people are discriminating against you?
Consider that you are missing something. You need to see the bigger picture. You need to see things from the point of view of the people you are harshly judging. Your perspective is not the only valid one in the world.
You must have heard of the famous story of 6 blind men who went to experience an elephant. Someone touched the trunk and thought that is what an elephant is like, shaped like a trunk. Someone touched the legs and thought that an elephant is like a column. Someone held the tail and thought an elephant is like a short rope.
The truth is that with their limited perceptions, none of them could imagine what an elephant is really like.
One thing that they must not do is to now fight with each other about whose perception is correct. But that is what we usually do.
It is great to assume that what we see, know or hear is not the entire picture, and spend some time and effort to discover our blind spots.
Do you do that?
Most of us have a bunch of career blind spots. Here are some common ones:
- Internship is a place to learn. (Correction: no, it is a place where you show off your skills so you get further opportunities or recommendations to bigger places or jobs. No lawyer walks into the office in the morning with the goal that they are going to teach a few lessons to interns. Hardly any lawyer has that kind of time.)
- I would first get hired and then learn skills on the job. (Those who have more skills are more likely to get hired. Organizations hate to hire people they will have to extensively train, it is a drain on their resources. If you get such a job where you have to be trained a lot, expect a lower salary because the organisation will factor in the cost of training you into your salary.)
- I am not from an NLU so I cannot do as well as NLU students. (You can do 10x better, and I wrote a whole book about it. You can read it here.)
- I am too old, not good enough, my grades are too low etc to get a law firm job. (You can get it if you just follow this blueprint)
- I do not have time for learning and develop because I am busy as a lawyer. (If you do not continually grow, you are probably falling behind. In the legal profession, there is no alternative to continuous self-development if you want to succeed big. Make time for an hour every day for personal growth and learning new skills.)
- Online courses are not worth it. (India’s most respected companies and top lawyers trust us for break through legal training. Wake up. The world has changed. Online courses are efficient and can add more value than university courses. At least ours do.)
What other such blind spots can you think of? Do respond and share with me.
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