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An informal, stream-of-consciousness reflection on business ideas, events and issues in modern business, modern life and with some specifics to the web-software industry by Paul Tomori, Internet Entrepreneur

Recognizing Self-Contradiction
By Paul Tomori
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 06:09:23 (EDT)

Many blog posts ago, I wrote that Popeye was wrong to assert "I am what I am".

I rephrased Popeye's statement to be: "I am what I am becoming".

My blog post was about having a willingness to re-invent oneself, to recognizing where old habits or pursuits might be holding you back.

Constantly, I find things about myself that need to be re-assessed, re-visited, then revised.

Here's an example from recent experience of someone who may be well-served by a little self-re-assessment.

A person I know and like very much recently came from out of town to visit my family. They are admittedly directionally challenged (i.e. they get lost easily). Normally, this person travels a well-rehearsed and well-known route to get to our place. However, this time, the main road was blocked with heavy traffic. I relayed some new directions by phone and they proceeded to drive 20 miles in the wrong direction. That perhaps says something about my ability to give directions!

When they finally arrived, I gently suggested that it might be time to get a GPS, especially in light of their frequent bouts of getting lost on country roads. They assured me that a map would continue to serve them just fine (though they didn't generally carry a map with them!).

This person is old-school mostly in a good way. Crafty, artistic, organic... a truly interesting and well-rounded person. However, this person is somewhat stuck in a Popeye mentality. Their viewpoint mostly works for them, but they have closed off certain channels of willingness to try new things (i.e. they don't have a dishwasher either). They are perhaps a bit fearful of some technology. The are perhaps a bit adherent to older purer ways of doing things. But, sometimes "older purer" is not better.

This person is also very environmentally aware, so I crafted a carefully worded suggestion to them. I said: "Do you realize that by getting lost so frequently you are clocking unnecessary extra mileage on your car which is contributing to pollution and global warming? A GPS would surely counteract that".

Stay tuned - I am curious to see how persuasive my argument was and if they will get a GPS to resolve their small self-contradiction.

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