Working as a futurist and as a senior strategist for a while now, taught me a lot of things and one of the most important lessons I learned was about reading signs… Signs about the future, and about what can happen to you or let’s say MAY happen to you.
Let’s say that you are driving your car, to hear a weird sound coming from the engine, then that sound stops and you don’t hear it again… You may decide to check it out (just to be on the safe side) or just ignore it as it just happened as a one-time thing… if the same sound gets repeated another time, then the sign of something that may be wrong gets stronger, and your internal voice would start communicating with you to tell you that it would be wise to check it out… and if that sound was there for the 3rd time, the sign is stronger now, and you are now saying that you need to check it out… but come on, the car is still running, and everything seems in order, so you decide to get the car engine checked “when you have time”… 2 weeks later, your car broke down while you were taking your wife and kids out and the timing couldn’t be more wrong… and the story went on…
Another configuration of the same scenario can go into relationships, business transactions, and any other you may think of… you may see some signs that can seem weird but not necessarily worrying from your friend or partner, and then you notice the same behavior more than once until a big issue can happen like betrayal or whatever.
This week’s tip is about the action that you need to train your self on doing… It’s not about the signs… It’s about READING the signs… You may be going into a place and you see a sign outside in a different language that you don’t understand, and you ignore it and go, only to discover that this sign was meant to stop you from entering or from performing an action and so.
Some of us are lucky to have CLEAR signs on their way, while the rest of us are not… Imagine that you could see a person wearing a sign that says “Liar” or “Cheater” before things would be more serious between you two. Therefore if you want to train your self on reading the signals, you need to understand patterns and trends… and then you can spot the outlier among these, so taking the example of the car, you know what the different sounds that it produces, and you can tell which sound is “natural” and which is not.
Find out about something that is wrong, or let’s say not right come from reviewing and analyzing the landscape of all the patterns and what is traditionally have been considered in a normal range and which is not… and mostly you would “feel” that something is not right… Yes, you read that properly… Experienced professional would sense and feel that something is not right but they can’t tell what is it… so they start investigating more… maybe by reviewing old data (did this happen before… with me or with someone else?) and if they couldn’t find it in the old data… they would create a situation that would make them surer or not…
Just like a doctor, you may find a patient showing a specific symptom, that may seem like a specific sickness, but you can’t be sure with the current data, so you ask for more tests, like blood tests and you check the results against what should be classified as the normal range and you find the outliers and evaluate if these outliers together can prove your theory or not..
The advice I can give you is that you are NOT to ignore the signs, some signs lead to great opportunities, and some are for a potential discomfort and even a disaster… and they call it the “Window” of opportunity for a reason… if you don’t act quickly, you would miss It and it will be closed; meanwhile, the threat would start small, and then it grows.
Trust your hunch, and act wisely and appropriately… and it’s ok to be wrong… the more you are wrong, you learn, and the next time you’re more trained to make the right discovery.
Enjoy your week,
Samer Chidiac is a Strategic Innovation Advisor, a Business Psychologist, a Philanthropist, an Author and a Speaker.