Over the years, the practice of making myself uncomfortable and putting myself in unfamiliar situations has proven to be invaluable both personally and professionally.
So much of what I do is help people through the disorienting process of change. It's a practice that continues to inform my efforts as I walk through implementations with my colleagues and clients.
April 8, 2008
The Captain and I have a long-running tradition of getting together for
dinner before bowling. This tradition has lasted as long as I've lived
in the area - through 3 sports, 4 years and more than a couple
We serve as each other's companion in weird
dining. One of us wants to try brains, fugu, crickets, haggis,
whatever...we'll call each other first before talking to our respective
love interests (much to their relief, I know).
The great thing
about living near Washington DC is the diversity of dining choices. If
you want to find an esoteric dish - chances are, some local restaurant
makes it (though you may have to charm your way into the meal).
week, our meanderings sent us looking for a restaurant in the Little
Korea section of Annandale. I forget how disorienting it is to not even
recognize the letters on the signage in your own backyard. Since
neither of us know Korean, we looked for something that resembled a restaurant with a lot of cars in front.
We walked into a Korean
noodle parlor. The only way we figured this out was from the waitress
repeating "Noodle" as we helplessly pointed at the miscellaneous symbols
on the place mat. Finally - we figured to just trust. We wound up with
two large bowls of thick noodles. One a black bean-based beef dish.
The other, a kimchi-hot seafood stew.
One of the best meals we've had this season.
it's good to put yourself in a situation where you are forced to trust.
Often, this is done through travel. But sometimes, you can experience
it in your own backyard. It doesn't have to be in foreign languages,
just the simple act of going someplace out of your norm.
allowed myself to be that disoriented more often, I would be a better
educator. I'd be better at recognizing and respecting the shock and awe
that comes with encountering something very different and unfamiliar.