Thursday, January 17, 2008

outward thinking

i've been growing a concept called outward thinking. outward thinking is pretty easy to understand; its opposite of inward thinking. (that was a joke). here is what it really means.

outward thinking is the ability to frame your thoughts in a larger context. that means thinking about how your actions might affect other people or even other concepts. here are few examples:
  • it is the ability to identify that a project task maybe a duplication of another task on another project. and then doing something about it.
  • it is the ability to think of including bob the developer in a discussion because you remembered that john sent you an article about the subject.
  • it is the ability to evaluate the design of a framework in the context of the larger problem.
  • it is the ability to commit yourself to helping other people realizing their dreams.

    i believe the world needs more outward thinking and outward acting people. i'm constantly amazed at the level of people naive sense of the larger issues. i've seen this in many areas, whether its my friends having no clue why al gore just won a noble piece prize (like it or not). or whether its fellow programmers getting lost in the mundane tasks, they lost the ability to come up for air and really evaluate the problem.

    a good analogy for this concept is the blinders that are used on horses, so that the horses are only focused on whats in front. blinders make you lose sight of your neighbors. blinders make you lose sight of the larger problem. blinders trick you into thinking that the next mundane task is the only possible next move. basically, i think blinders suck. but, yet there are too many people with blinders on.

    i try to outward think as much as possible for several reasons:
  • i have the utmost respect for the people around me. i rely on them to help me grow as an engineer and as a person. you have to take off the blinders to appreciate and utilize that opportunity.
  • i want to help others, but to do that you must first be aware of their goals, aspirations, and needs. you need to have the ability and commitment to the people around you.
  • i know i can't the problems alone
  • i know that i don't know all the problems.
  • i know that i don't know all the success stories to learn from.
  • i know i can't create success with blinders on
  • and its just way more fun

    outward thinking is very important to me. its something that i've been working on these past few years. its maybe something that i grew when playing and coaching baseball all these years, but was too blinded to see it.

    Priya said...

    I was inspired to read this article. Keep up the good work. When you focus on others life, your life moves which is strange but so true. I acknowledge you for who you are..

    aaron said...

    thanks priya!