February 9, 2019
Perspectives: it’s all a matter of points of view. I learned it well in these days, almost by chance. You can always see everything from different points of view; but you can always choose your point of view.
You know the famous saying:
What a caterpillar calls ‘end of the world’, the rest of the world calls a butterfly
Caterpillar is right: that moment is the end of the world, as he knows it. But also the perspective of rest of the world is right: the end of a caterpillar is a butterfly. So the same event can be positive or negative: it’s all a matter of points of view.
Bees and flies perspectives
Also bees and flies spend their whole life flying here and there: bees on flowers, flies … well, you all know where they fly 😉
So, let’s go back to the start. I want to show you how easy is to change your perspective.
In these days I was working in Switzerland. Yesterday evening I moved from Geneve to Lausanne. Once there, I went to the hotel my Company booked for me: a three stars hotel near the station.
Arriving at the hotel
Man at the reception checked me in, told me some infos about the accommodation (you know, breakfast time, wifi key, …the essentials) and finally gave me the key of my room. I went upstairs at second floor, opened the door and… surprise: in front of me a window with the curtains opened wide. Outside a ‘terrifying’ scene: at no more than two meters from the window there were the railroad tracks of the station. Soon I figured out what my night would have been!
Bad perspective was rising.
Luckily Lausanne’s station is not so full of trains during the night and, most of all, they are moving slowly and stop in it, so the noise was not so bad. Nevertheless the clanking of the wheels on the tracks, slowing down the speed entering the station, was really annoying.
Before going out for dinner I took a shower, then went back to the room and I saw a beautiful painting on the wall above my bed.
The subject? A steam locomotive.
Great, should I forget that I was going to sleep beside the railroad tracks, that painting sure will remind me.
Bad perspective is growing.
The next morning, coming down for breakfast, I couldn’t believe to my eyes. In fact, the dining room was all made of wood, chairs too and they perfectly reminded the seats of the old trains. On the floor, or better, below the floor, the stroke of genius. The central part of the floor was made of glass and an authentic reproduction of a Swiss mountainous countryside with a model of train running on tracks.
Great! Croissant, coffee and orange juice almost made me forget the clank of train wheels… thanks to remind me!
Looking at that countryside reproduction, I thought about myself and I realized that yes I am an engineer, I think as an engineer, I see things as an engineer.
Not sure this is a positive thing.
Railroad tracks at two meters from my window, the painting of a steam locomotive, the chairs like old train seats, the landscape on the floor… all they were fact. The negative things is that my ‘engineering-diverted mind’ won on me with its point of view; it showed me them simply for what they were: facts.
Nothing more than facts.
These thoughts haunted me all the day. How could the manager of that hotel not notice all those facts? Wasn’t better to move clients’ mind away from the station? A little of marketing could do the job, I guess.
Marketing… that’s the magic word!
How I couldn’t think about? It was me and my engineering-diverted mind the ones who needed some marketing.
I was the stupid engineer and the manager of the hotel was the genius. He based his force on one of his weak. He couldn’t hide the proximity of the station, so he emphasized it, making a strength of it.
And as the old adage goes,
If you can’t defeat your enemy, made him your best friend.
Thinking twice, all the best things in that hotel were the ones regarding the trains. I’m sure I will not remember the reception, the hall and the other common parts of this hotels, but no doubts I will never forget the beauty of that dining room. Having breakfast was like having it on the Orient Express.
In the same way, the painting of the steam locomotive on the wall was, objectively, better that the most of the hotel rooms paintings and for sure it made sense.
The model of the train running behind the floor made me feel …a lot of years… younger, when I built my own one with my father.
Perspectives… it’s all a matter of points of view.
Never forget it.
Try always to see things from different points of view, do not stop at first impression. If I had let the engineer win, then my day would have been worse, thinking on the clanking, on the noise, …
They are still part of my day, but they are not my memories of that day.
You can always choose your point of view.
Shit, unfortunately, happens, but it’s up to you to fly on flowers or…