One of the many hats I wear involves coordinating teacher trainings for a yoga studio. In the days and weeks leading up to each training, I spend time chasing down details and people for last minute tweaks and loop closures. As the most recent training approached, I was on just such a mission and frustrated by my inability to reach two separate individuals from whom I needed critical information. When I relayed the difficulty to the Director of the program, he asked the simple, straightforward, and obvious question: "Have you called them?"
I was embarrassed to realize - and admit - that I had not... Because the demographic of students with whom we work skews young, I have become conditioned to communicating primarily via email and social media. The irony of my non-tech-savvy self failing to see beyond electronic means of communication was not lost. And - as you might imagine - by picking up the phone, I was able to track down the lingering information in a matter of hours.
We all find ourselves reverting to rote behaviors, and often our behaviors are (wisely) informed by experience. But sometimes an elegant solution lies one simple step away from the familiar approach. Next time you find yourself stuck in a project or interaction, pause and think beyond the confines of your conditioned response. The answer may be more obvious - and easier - than you think.