There are things all around you that you don’t notice and don’t question. We all have preconceived ideas and notions about what things mean and why certain things are the way they are. But every now and then you learn something that changes the way you see things… something that just blows your mind.
Growing up we had a small, colorful tapestry that my parents used to help decorate our laundry room. It was about two feet wide and three feet high and had a woman and a boy on it and the woman was holding a fruit basket on her head with one hand. On the bottom it said Hecho en Mexico.
Until I was about 15 I thought this meant Woman in Mexico. I must have passed it hundreds of times growing up, never questioning what it meant. Then one day in high school Spanish class I learned that hecho actually meant made in, not woman. It said Made in Mexico. Doh.
I went home and told my mom who had a similar “hrmph” reaction. We had held this idea in our head for such a long time and just like that, with a little bit of new information, the tapestry changed.
Here’s an interesting little exercise that Andy Hunt told us to try at the Philly Emerging Tech conference:
Close your eyes for a few seconds and think of the color red.
Open your eyes and look around.
Everything that’s red should stick out.
How do you know what to look for if no one tells you to look for it?
Fortunately, there’s an easy, often neglected way to broaden your knowledge: try something new.
Read the same blog everyday? Try a new one.
Been using the same programming language for 10 years? Been there… Try a new one.
Take the same route to work everyday? Try a new one.
Is English the only language you know? Try a new one.
Same wife everyday? Try a new one. (Just kidding honey)
Bottom line: the more experiences have the more things you’ll learn along the way. And the more you know, the more Hecho en Mexicos you’ll discover in your own life.