On Point of View – 200 words project


Here is this week’s 200 words project:


“ Point of view is worth 80 IQ points.”

Alan Kay quoted in Badass: Making Users Awesome

I was listening to the Glenn Beck interview with Tim Ferriss, where he talks about short circuiting the system: “Short circuiting the system is a lot easier when you are somebody who is not trained to think like everyone else.”. He talks about Steve Jobs as a prime example on how he used what he learnt in calligraphy and other areas of life to change Apple. People like Steve Jobs and Glenn Beck – they were outsiders, not trained by the academy / industry. That is they have a different point of view.

And then there is Einstein, Newton, Galileo – all greats – all who have made these great contributions to the world – who all had a different point of view.

It is well known that travel, life-changing experiences, near-death events, harrowing, challenging, exciting events in our lives – these have the capability to trigger a paradigm-shift, to totally change your point of view – and look at the world differently.

There are no doubt immense benefits in learning to look with different points of view. But so far, they seem to be a product of who you are, and what happened to you, and your environment.

This begs the question – can one learn the art/science/skill of trying on different points of view? Not in a superficial, vague way, but in a deeply profound, original way? Is this even possible? Can a “trained” person throw off the tinted glasses of learning and see the world in a “fresh” way?

The only inkling I have found – that something like this is possible is in the Buddhist literature and philosophies. This is the idea of ‘beginner’s mind’ – that you start illiterate, then you learn and gain expertise. Then you need to unlearn everything – retain the skill-set but forget your conclusions and look again. Almost like climbing a spiral – where you end up at the same point – just a bit above the point you started, and the view is the same but different.

Can this be applied to other areas of our lives – work, play?


About the 200 Words Project

Once every week, on Monday morning, I will post my ‘200 Words Project’ post where I will ruminate on some idea which caught my interest in the current book I’m reading, or maybe (sometimes) from a blog post or podcast – in 200 words or more, never less!

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