The Key to Innovation and Growth

Can you hear the heartbeat of a stone?

This question might be the ending of a conversation rather than the beginning of any.
I mean, a stone is a stone: there is no life, no heartbeat. And even if we are willing to color outside the lines a little bit and use it as a metaphor, let’s say, a “human stone”, the conversation would be short and dismissive. Who wants to spend time finding the hidden signs of life in someone who presents as cold or as hard as a stone? We plaster the label and want to move on: off to sunnier and warmer environments!

What if today you drop the load of assumptions and projections and you get out there, you pick a “lifeless” stone, and instead of examining it to confirm your already made assumptions ( it’s cold, it’s smooth, it’s gray) you open your eyes just like a child who is experiencing a stone for the very first time: what is this? What can I know about it? What is it good for?

Look at it from different angles. Catch yourself when you are making assumptions and associations.
Look inside the stone. What can you see? What does it look like? What does it feel like?
Play like if you have no previous knowledge and allow yourself to discover. Make up a new story. If it had a life, what would it be like? If it had a heart, where would that be? What would its rhythm be?

You might say that this is a silly game, you are too busy for it, you are preoccupied with REAL things, and you are dealing with the serious stuff.

But here is the thing.

We are stuck in a cycle. Whether we admit it or not. We operate on assumptions and projections. We operate on a set belief system. Somewhere, sometime along the journey, we decided that something is true, something has a specific value, and we never question anything from there. We use this “truth” as the filter for everything.

We end up being constantly busy creating a new context so we can prove the same old truth.

That’s not the definition of innovation. That’s not how we bring about change. That’s not expansion. Not even real growth. And it’s so very far from what creation means.

All this long introduction only to tell you that if you want to move forward and make a difference, if you want to set bigger goals and accomplish them, if you want to reach your potential, if you want to become, if you want to change, if you’re going to solve a challenging situation, you need to look at your context with curiosity, with fresh eyes and innocence.

If you need to solve a puzzle, you need to ask questions like you don’t know the answers. There are no stupid questions. Only questions that haven’t been asked and exactly those are the questions that might carry a massive part of the solution.

If you are ready for a bigger life, you must be open to new exploration and unexpected possibilities. Be open to challenges and question everything you think you know.

By the way, I know it’s not necessarily easy. But it’s well worthy it. It’s a game changer.

Gabriela Manciulea

Founder and CEO Calibrated Leadership
High Performance & Mindset Coach