Mindset Affects Your Choices
Like with my board-game strategies. Yes, I am a fan of board-games that invole strategy. More than going out to dinner and a movie, the husband and I play boardgames. We own over 100 games. I call it our small fortune, as these games do not come cheap. Our newest craze, a game called, Tzolkin. Best game ever, since I’ve won several times. For the times I lost, I remind myself “Failure is the key to success”. Learn from failure and change strategy. Most of these games are 70% strategy and 30% luck. The goal being, to collect the highest victory points. Ever since I started watching The Profit’s Marcus Lemonis, my gaming strategy has changed. In the past, every game would involve moves that forfeit larger gains to ensure “rules” in the game are adhered to, avoiding a penalty (which comes at a cost of losing a few points). Since Marcus, I see the “penny wise pound foolish” mistakes I’ve been making. Why not aim to get more points, take on the penalty, pay it off and make a marginal profit?
It’s a lot like life. Life deals you situations and then you have a plethora of choices to choose from. The choices you make are an indicator of how you think. Instead of playing it safe, add some risk. Stop making safe choices.
Choices Produce Consequences
To every choice there is a positive or negative consequence. This is unavoidable. One of the advertising gurus I admire and follow closely, Dave Trott, wrote an excellent post that proves this point beautifully. ‘We don’t want whats good for us’, talks about Henry George,an enlightened economist, who firmly believed a man should profit from his labour, but not profit from what belonged to everyone. Instead of income tax, he proposed a tax on the value of land, because it belongs to everyone.
A loyal follower, Lizzie Magie decided this should be taught to children through a game, so they could learn while playing. It was called ‘The Landlord’s Game’. It’s purpose was to show children the evils of profit for greed. It consisted of rents, mortgages, deeds, imprisonment and fines. The goal of the game was to bankrupt every other player. Lizzie meant for her game to remedy the evils of greed by children learning it and then practicing it later in life. It failed.
But in 1933 New Jersey, an unemployed salesman named Charles Darrow was introduced to the game and changed it forever. Not for learning the evils of greed, but for the exact opposite reason. The fun of taking money from the other players. By now you’ve probably guessed it, the game went on to be called, ‘Monopoly’. Inside a year he was selling 20,000 sets a week. 275 million sets have been sold worldwide. Sold in 111 countries and 43 different languages. And today, 10 million Monopoly phone apps have been downloaded.
It all boiled down to perspective. Blew me away.
Vertical vs Lateral Thinking
We are trained to think vertically. It is a sequential and logic-based way of processing things and ends when a reasonable solution has been reached.
Lateral thinking is about removing all preconception and previously held beliefs and being prepared to work with ideas that at first appear wrong. They appear wrong because they new and possibly not a popular notion. Lateral thinking is about breakthroughs and innovation. Ideas are conceived in a way that simply isn’t possible with vertical thinking.
Vertical and lateral thinking are essential for different tasks and work hand in hand. The perfect example of this is the history of Monopoly, made above. Lateral thinking will help you to conceive new tools, apps and programs, while vertical thinking will enable you to write the code that makes them work.
So there you have it. Your mindset is a huge asset. Are you using it to your advantage?