Lessons learned from shortcuts taken

Okay, for anyone who is friends with me on facebook, it is not secret how much I love Ted Talks. I watch anywhere from one to five of them a day and they often end up on my newsfeed. So much can be learned from these short videos and, as I discussed in a previous blog post, they provide quality stimulation when you are attempting to set your filters for what you take in.

Today, I watched a video by Tom Hulme titled, “What can we learn from shortcuts?” This is a phenominal video and will only take up about seven minutes of your day. In particular, I loved what he said about identifying the paths that people take and then paving them. Such a great concept.

He gave an example of a college that built up its structure but left an unpaved park in the center. Over time, natural walkways developed based upon the routes that students needed to take to the from class to class. After these paths were created, the college went in and had them paved.

I think often times we function the opposite of this. We create paths in life and expect everyone to follow them. How much more efficient would life be if we simply attempted to improve the paths that people were already on?

Okay, at this point, I am no longer talking about physical walkways but my mind is now turned to how we can help people through life. I work at a group home facility in central Virginia. My wife and I have been house parents over teenage boys for a little over six years now. That is part of our job. Pave the way for their success. Often times, we make paths for them that we feel like is the best way for them to go. Maybe we could benefit from watching the path that they are already taking and find a way to improve on it instead.

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