We see the world, not as it is, but as we are
or as we are conditioned to see it.
What are different ways someone could see your problem?
Share your problem with 5 different people from different backgrounds and listen to their different perspectives. With new input, create a different solution and plan.
I was late! Running out of the home where I was living in Cuernava, Mexico to catch my cab back to the airport. I sprinted with my suitcase along the stepping stones as my shoe slipped off the side of a stone and my foot wrenched perpendicular to my leg with my full body weight crashing on my ankle. I regained my balance without falling and jumped into the cab.
I caught my flight back to LA, squeezed into a window seat without an extra millimeter to move and remained sandwiched in my cubicle for 4 hours from Mexico City to Los Angeles. As hard as I tried to distract myself, my ankle had more devious plans.
Within my shoe, I could feel the beating drums of a sacrificial ceremony, complete with campfire blazing through my sock. My ankle wanted to explode with increasing pain minute by minute.
By the time we landed, I couldn’t even stand. The flight attendant rolled me out in a wheelchair, looking like I was returning from war. My med school buddy picked me up and took me back to my apartment where I elevated my ankle that was now 3x its size and black and blue.
Despite icing and Advil, my ankle continued to stage a revolt. As a med student recently educated to all the anatomy and possible diagnoses, I was certain I had broken or torn a bone, tendon or ligament. So I called my buddy to take me to LA County Medical Center where we were students.
The Emergency Room was packed as always. There were at least 20 people ahead of me filling the chairs. As I waited, I had an entirely new view of the ER. As med students, we’d thirst for interesting cases we’d never seen to learn from. As a patient, all I wanted ahead of me were simple cases to move the line faster. I waited as my ankle grew.
As I looked around, counting the chairs, I saw a guy with what looked like bloody stab wounds. Another man holding pressure over a gunshot wound. Many very sick people who I could only guess suffered from diabetes out of control at risk of losing a foot or AIDS or meningitis in danger of dying. And they stared back at me… With my twisted ankle.
After less than an hour, we drove home where I hobbled back to my apartment and recovered on my own. I lived.