a-different-perspective-can-help-us-reach-our-goal As the stage designer for an 1100-seat auditorium I get to spend a lot of time up a ladder, reaching for things. Drapery, fishing line, cable ties and scissors are just some of the items I carry, tweak and twist while 10 feet off the ground.  I have a great respect for the stage, especially when I get to stand on it instead of looking down at it from a ladder.

A recent stage design was based on the community theme of “Being Connected”, and used gears and steel trusses to give a mechanical representation of people being connected in many ways. With LED backlighting it came to life, and I really enjoyed it.

When it was time to take it down, I was back up the ladder. Sometimes I have an irrational worry that I am taking the stage apart when there is still one show to go, but I have yet to make that mistake. It is amazing how quickly we can take something apart that took a lot of time and effort to create!


Part way through taking down the pieces I came to the horizontal truss, which ran between two sets of gears. It was a heavy structure and had many pieces of 40-pound fishing line making sure it stayed up. I stood at the top of the ladder, looking down at the truss and fishing line, trying to figure out how to get the thing down without it crashing into the stage.

And then it hit me — my perspective was wrong. I was looking at the problem the wrong way. I climbed down the ladder to the stage floor and laughed — the truss was only five feet off the ground, and I could easily take it down from the safety of terra firma.

I had gotten so used to doing things while up the ladder that I had missed the easy solution.  My focus had been reduced to what I could do from my usual position.

It’s a good reminder of how we can get in a rut — doing things the same way — when a better, perhaps easier way, is within reach.

Some of our challenges can be solved by changing our position physically, and others by changing our position mentally or philosophically [also known as learning something new]. When something seems hard to do, or outside your usual patterns, try taking a look at it from a different perspective, and see if you can see it differently.


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