July 7, 2021
Q&A 040

🧩 Puzzle

"You're unreasonable!"

Strangely enough, this was one of the most interesting phrases Marketing guru Seth Godin uttered while presenting a workshop on freelancing. He tried to explain why most people are having such a hard time understanding why other people think different, make other choices, can't see why your product is the absolute best idea in the world.

"But I'm also unreasonable, we all are."

He explained that it took him quite a while to understand how everyone hold his own sets of beliefs, and that everyone's behaviour is a fully logical consequence of his beliefs, state of mind and experiences. Everyone, absolutely everyone, acts completely in line with those. You're never acting against your own set of beliefs, and so is everybody else.

When you have a hard time understanding someone else's behaviour, that just means you don't see all the pieces of the puzzle.

This change of lens, to look at behaviour you do not understand, was a game-changer for me.

It's not a dogmatic 'you should try to be empathic'. It's an invitation.

Every time a puzzle presents itself, I have a choice. Thinking the puzzle is stupid, ranting the pieces don't fit and how it should be different. Or, alternatively, remembering that all the pieces in front of me (and some left in the box) are a full set, holding an image I don't see yet.

I still don't feel like making complex jigsaw puzzles all of the time; knowing the pieces always make a full set already makes for a comforting thought.