I have this fun little screen saver on my multi-touch surface. It let’s you ripple the water and scare the fish around. Any time someone new came by and saw it, they would inevitably do the same thing, scare the fish.
One day my friend Pete stopped by. Pete’s not like most of my friends who are studied academics and accomplished professionals. Pete is a free spirited hippie, guitar playing spiritualist.
When he saw the fish swimming he asked, ‘Can you draw them in?’
I had never thought about that. In fact, nobody had. Pete was the first to suggest such a ridiculous thing. The pond is a computer program after all.
Ignore Your Detractors
Undaunted by our laughter, Pete walked up to the screen. He took a deep breath, then softly touched the surface of the water. He closed his eyes and seemed to be focusing all his energy on somehow drawing in these little digital fish.
We all stopped laughing… Because it worked.
The moment his finger became still, the fish all slowly came to check it out. We were dumbfounded. Pete, as usual, chalked it up to his mystical power of manifestation. What really happened is that Pete had inadvertently discovered an Easter egg the programmer had created.
What Can We Learn From Pete The Hippie?
The significant lesson is:
We would never had found that trick. We were all busy chasing the fish around. It wasn’t until someone with a completely different view on the world came and asked a very basic, honest question, “I wonder….”
Everyone Is A Teacher
After that day, I learned to always be open and receptive to ideas that are contrary to my own. Tapping into the diversity of your social circle for feedback is a priceless practice.