Our body loses flexibility as we grow up. If as kids we could easily touch the floor with our hands without bending our knees, this movement becomes more and more difficult with the passage of time. While it might not be deemed as necessary nor urgent to maintain our corporal flexibility, there are at least well know methodologies to allow us regain this capability; among other yoga, ballet or other types of physical exercise.
Our mind is analogous to our body. With the years, it becomes more rigid. I have heard from elder friends that when they were young, their mind was quicker. While I have no scientific evidence to back this statement, I at least know that the mind indeed loses flexibility through time, unless we give it appropriate training.
Through experience and due to the influence of society, we tend to hold fest to certain conventional thoughts. The short story from the two candidates for a sales position can illustrate this point.
Two candidates were in a final round of interview for a sales position. The recruiter, having difficulties to decide between the two, decided to ask them the following question: “If I asked you to jump out of the seventh floor of a building, would you do so?”
The first candidate replied: “No, of course I would not do so. I would kill myself.” He then very soon left the interview.
When the second candidate was asked the same question, he said: “Yes, I would, under the conditions that you give me a parachute and lay down 7 layers of mattress on the ground, just in case the parachute does not work properly. If you give me an objective, I will not reject it using the conventional thought, rather I will evaluate the possibility and figure out a way to reach it.” He was then recruited for the position he was applying for (as you might have already guessed it).
What the second candidate said, however, is really wise. We too often think in a predetermined way and neglect all other considerations. How many of us thought of a parachutes and some mattresses on the ground? Our mind needs to be trained to regain flexibility and one of the ways is, as the successful candidate suggests, to think positively and always trying to figure out ways to reach seemingly “unreachable” goals.