Thursday, November 26, 2015

Find ways to make it your fault

Nobody comes home from working thinking they’re the idiot. 

The human instinct is to externalize blame. To find all the ways everybody else was wrong, thereby making us innocent through process of elimination. To give ourselves license to say how stupid everybody else is without feeling guilty. 

The only problem is, what we assume is another person’s failure is often projected carelessness. For example, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve sent late night anxiety ridden emails and text messages to web developers and programmers, freaking out because the change order I put in didn’t take effect, only to later find out that they did do their job, correctly and quickly, I just forgot to clear my cache. 

Woops. Who knew all I had to do was press one stupid button on my browser bar, and the whole incident could have been avoided? 

What a perfect lesson for everyday life. After all, the word cache is a tool that hides, conceals, stores or constrains. And so, before blaming people for doing something dumb, we ought to ask ourselves what context we failed to set. What cache we forgot to clear. Because odds are, that’s precisely what’s concealing the answer to our problems. 

Find ways to make it your fault. Even if it wasn’t. It’s a healthy exercise in humility, efficiency and awareness. 

What are you pretending not to know about your role in the problem?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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