Use both hands

It is natural to use both hands if you have two hands. We often get by using one hand with simple tasks, but life gets complicated when you only have one hand and the task at hand asks for two.  Ever wondered why we have two?

We have two of most things and if we don’t it’s seen as a handicap or disability. It seems the world works better with two legs, two hands, two eyes etc. So I find it fascinating that we do not carry this paired competence into our thinking.

We tend to get stuck on one perspective at a time, while most things work in opposites – warm or cold, light or dark and good or bad. We tend to think something is either good for us or bad for us. This black or white thinking is not something new. It is just fascinating that so many people still think only in these single polarities. This while we all know there are a lot of grey between the black and white.

I recently watched an interesting TED video in which Linus Torvalds was interviewed. What a beautiful person. I am impressed with the level of comfort he had with himself and his generous choice for open source software.

For me the power moment in the video is when he says “I’m perfectly happy with all the people who are walking around and just staring at the clouds … but I’m looking at the ground, and I want to fix the pothole that’s right in front of me before I fall in.”

In my mind, this is powerful because it highlights our tendency to focus on one side at a time. We like visionary things. It speaks to what is possible and I am 100% for having a great vision. Yet, we need to fix the pothole in front of us as well. At the same time we cannot fixate on the potholes that we lose sight of where we are going.

We need to use both hands. Each one of us has the ability to have a vision, hold it and work on what to do today to fix the problem that birthed the vision in the first place.

Another interesting video by Knut Haanaes presents the tension between exploration and exploitation in BUsiness. And again he suggests we do both.

“So let me leave you with this. Whether you’re an explorer by nature or whether you tend to exploit what you already know, don’t forget: the beauty is in the balance. “ – Knut Haanaes