Did your mother ever suggest that you “rethink your decision…” as you defiantly stood your ground? You were probably on the expressway to early bedtime… and had clearly made a choice which didn’t please her. But little did you know, she was actually telling you to innovate!
Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes. Rethinking a decision, rethinking a process, even rethinking a mood all prompt us to innovate. I actually like the word “rethink.” Rather than using the buzz words of change… rethinking puts you in the driver’s seat to consider new possibilities or different paths. It suggests engaging your brain to find different options.
In a game of Memory (or Concentration for the 40 something crowd), you often want to select cards or numbers that have never been turned just for the sake of untried options. Some trapped in an occupation that is obviously unsatisfying, wish they could rethink their life — a “do-over” of sorts. Perhaps you’ve almost completed a major project and find yourself saying, “If I could start again, I would…” with the intent of capitalizing on your experience to make subtle improvements.
A local university uses as their tagline — “Rethinking Education” — suggesting a new way of doing business. They’ve replaced intercollegiate athletics with a robust student-led activities program. They’ve instituted an equal three-track admissions system, allowing more students the opportunity to study while at the same time, maximizing resources. An incoming freshman may be admitted to the fall/winter, winter/spring, or spring/fall track (or fast track if they are in a hurry!).
We can rethink our approach anytime — trying a slightly different angle, new twist or complete redesign. Innovation is exciting. We draw from our environment and the people around us to apply life’s lessons in making something better.
As a 12 year-old, your mom may not have liked your colorful language or your retaliation methods with a younger sibling, but she had one thing right… “rethinking” keeps us learning and growing (even as adults), and gives us the courage to try new and different things.