Quality Blog

Jim’s Gems: Look Forward to the Future

January 3, 2013
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With the ending of one year and the beginning of another, there is no doubt that you've noticed the avalanche of the year's "best" and "worst" lists. They are everywhere, from newspapers and magazines to television shows—even the financial pages. While it may be interesting and even occasionally frightening to look back and remember, I'd like to talk a little bit about a more productive way of looking at where we are.

In our weekly blogs, several have centered on the need for purposefully setting meaningful goals  in order to unlock the energy and creativity inside of us. When we set a goal, we cause a "gap" between the way things are and the way we want them to be. It is within our nature to want to close that gap. A primary job of our subconscious mind is to keep us like we know we are and setting a goal changes how we know we are. We must focus on closing the gap.

In order to close that gap, to make the outside picture match the inside picture of who we know we are, our creative subconscious turns on enough energy and creativity to make it happen. We either get motivational drive and ideas to move toward what we want to happen in the future, or ideas or drive to remain where we are in current reality. Herein lies the danger of spending too much time looking back at the past.

As humans , we move toward the strongest picture and our natural tendency is to maintain our current picture of who we are.  We change that perspective, but in order to do so, we need to make that future picture (or goal) stronger and more attractive than staying in our comfort zone or the present. By constantly reminding ourselves of our past, we lose the drive to move forward, toward a new future.

Think about the above, and we’ll take this a little further next week.

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Charles J. Hellier has been active in the technology of nondestructive testing and related quality and inspection fields since 1957. Here he talks with Quality's managing editor, Michelle Bangert, about the importance of training.
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