Are You Led by Your Habitual Thought?


徐悲鴻名作21匹駿馬圖中的2匹駿馬
徐悲鴻名作21匹駿馬圖中的2匹駿馬

 

Horses by famous Chinese painter Xu Beihong(1895-1953)

After I posted the previous article “Go back to simplicity”, I came across this article that was a Chinese text by an unknown author. It further elaborates on the same topic. I translated it into English and hope that we can grasp more of meaning to improve our way of thinking.

A chairman of a large company was about to retire, so he started to look for his replacement who would give the company a break-through. Many recommendations poured in; he nailed down the last two candidates. The chairman decided to test them on riding horses since both were good at it.

He took them to his ranch and brought them the horses. He set the winning rule as such that whoever returned last after riding the horse around the ranch would be hired as his replacement.

Both of them were shocked by the chairman’s request because they never in their life have heard such a winning rule. Seeing their puzzled expression, the chairman emphasized that the competition is to show who could ride at a slow speed instead of a fast one.

Upon the commanding gunshot start, the two stood there and they did not know what to do. Suddenly, one person (A) jumped on the other person’s (B) horse and started the race. He left his horse behind. B was wondering why A rode his horse, but by the time he figured out what had happened, it was already too late, because his horse had reached the finish line. B had lost.

The chairman came to A to congratulate him and confirm that he would be hired. He explained to A that he was qualified for he had the innovative thinking to be able to solve the problem effectively.

We used to think that the winner for horse riding is always the fast one instead of a slow one. Therefore, we may think the thought of this chairman was somewhat crazy because his thought does not comply with our habitual way of thinking. In general, people observe their surroundings and judge them with their past experience. Therefore, anything that is out of the comfort zone will be labeled as unusual. They, nevertheless, know that they have been constrained in their habitual thought, and their thinking has come to a halt.

Person A got out of this thought and he was able to find the solution, so he was hired. It is very obvious that we have second nature with us all the time; we are easily under its’ control unconsciously. We need to be alert so we will not become a slave to it, but gain back the dominance instead.

Managing business is dynamic; therefore our thought pattern cannot stick to precedents and limit ourselves. Both thought and action should change according to the situation.

Are you led by your habitual thought? It is time to get out of this routine way of thinking. Then, you may achieve your unfinished dream sooner.

Chinese version

你被習慣牽著走嗎?
一家大公司的董事長即將退休,他想找一位能突破現狀的經營者,各方的推薦不斷,在各項條件的甄選中,最後只有兩位候選人(甲與乙)。

因兩位候選人都善於騎馬,一天,老董事長約他們到他的農場。當甲和乙來到農場時,老董事長領著兩匹馬走出來說:

「我知道你們都善於騎術,這裡有兩匹好馬,我要你們比賽一下,勝利者,將成為我的接班人。」

兩位候選人正在打量著自己和對方的馬匹,乙心想:「比賽馬!太棒了,正是我熟練的事情,董事長的位子如探囊取物。」心中沾沾自喜。此時,董事長宣佈比賽規則:

「我要你們從這裡騎馬跑到農場那一邊,再跑回來。誰的馬『慢』到,誰就是下一屆的董事長!」

乙從美夢中乍醒,臉帶疑惑;甲一付不知如何是好,錯愕的表情。兩人正在懷疑自己的耳朵有沒有聽錯:「賽馬比快的,那有比慢的呢?」董事長看出他們的不解,再次強調說:「這次比賽,是比『慢』,不是比『快』的。」

隨著董事長的指令「預備,一、二、三,開始」槍聲響起後,甲和乙仍站在原地,不知該怎麼做。過好一會兒,甲突然靈機一動,跳出習慣領域的束縛,迅速跳上乙的馬,然後快馬加鞭,向著另一邊騁馳,把自己的馬留在後面。

乙看著甲的舉動,正奇怪:「甲怎麼騎了我的馬?」,而當乙想通怎麼回事時,已經太慢了。他的馬已被甲騎回到終點了,乙輸了。

當甲從乙的馬背下來,董事長向前致賀甲:「恭喜!恭喜!你能以創新的思維,有效解決問題,請你接任我們下任董事長。」平常我們會想,騎馬比賽都是比快的,哪有比慢的,因此,我們可能會覺得這位董事長神經有問題,因為他不符合我們習慣的想法。

一般人,總會以自己的習慣領域去觀察週遭事物、以過去經驗為判斷反應,對超出我們自己習慣領域之外的事,視為「神經病」,卻不知自己習慣領域已僵化。

候選人甲能跳脫出這種習慣性的想法,想出解決問題的方法,因而成為董事長。由此可知習慣領域是存在的,而且,隨時隨地與我們同在,我們平常可能不知不覺就成為它的奴隸,然而,當我們能夠警覺時,就可以做它的主人。

經營環境是動態的,我們的思考模式與行動也要能隨機而變,不能故步自封、墨守成規。如同賽馬中的乙,競爭規則已改變,還沉醉於自己的熟練騎術而不自知,一覺醒,董事長寶座已拱手讓人了。故不拘束於過去,以開放的心胸,定期審察內外環境的變化,適時摒棄不合時宜的作法,積極採取對應的行動,才能在變中求新,變中求得勝。

所以你現在還被習慣牽著走嗎?請想想你的工作是你的習慣還是目標呢?你的人生還有什麼未完實現的夢想,跳出慣有的思考模式吧!重新思考你的未來是什麼?

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