In his TED talk last week, Astro Teller of the Google X Laboratories said:
Sometimes shifting perspective is more important than being smart.
He described his teams as actively working to find the flaws in their projects; they strive to spot the weaknesses that make their own goals impossible.
They do this because the sooner they can separate possible from impossible, the more time they get to imagine things that will come to exist. To paraphrase Sherlock Holmes, the best way to make the improbable happen is to eliminate the impossible.
To achieve this we need an open mind – the ability to shift perspective when presented with new information.
It seems to me we could all use a little more of that; in the political arena, in our understanding of science, even in the music classroom.
How willing are you to throw out all your preparation, all your assumptions, all your experience to try something new?
If you were given new information that makes your past work impossible to carry forward, would you shift your perspective?