A Visual Thinking Parable
If by now you’re still not convinced about the benefits of visual thinking and how it can help you to think more critically and creatively, then I would like you to take a little time now to read a bedtime story, and present you with a visual thinking parable. 🙂
Dreaming of a Hut on the Hill
Imagine for a moment two wonderful and hardworking cartoon characters. Each of them has a dream and vision to build a hut on top of a hill. The problem is that they have to figure out how to carry all those super heavy rocks up that big old hill.
Caveman Sam begins in early January by hauling rocks using planks of wood and a rope up the steep hill. He works hard but struggles every day to squeeze every ounce of energy he can from his muscular frame. He has chosen this particular strategy of hauling rocks because this is how he was taught by his parents and teachers while growing up in the town of Bedrock. 🙂 He doesn’t even consider that there are other possibilities.
Six months later Sam has made a lot of progress, however he still has plenty more rocks to carry up this steep hill before he can finish building his hut.
Having observed Sam struggle all this time slaving away to haul the rocks up the hill, VizThinkman Vince realizes that he’ll never achieve his dream of living in a hut on top of the hill because he simply doesn’t have the muscle mass or strength to haul rocks.
Through the process of observation Vince notices how the rocks Sam is carrying up the hill keep rolling back down the hill and this gives him an interesting idea.
After a short period of reflection, Vince finally dreams up the concept of a wheel and builds the world’s first wheelbarrow. He immediately gets to work and starts rolling rocks up the hill using his wheelbarrow.
Within only four weeks, Vince completes the construction of his hut on top of the hill thanks to his clever thinking. Sam is astonished and amazed, however at the same time very thankful that Vince is willing to show him how to use the wheelbarrow to make his dream a reality as well.
A couple of weeks later with construction complete, both characters are happily sitting on their porches sipping the sweet taste of success. 🙂
Start Challenging How You Think Today!
I guess you’ve probably already figured out that Vince is the visual thinker and Sam plays the role of the ordinary hard working character who has all the potential in the world, but struggles day-after-day to achieve his dreams.
The parable shows us how our past conditioning can prevent us from thinking about our world and circumstances in new and creative ways. Sam simply never considered any other options or alternatives. From a young age he was taught that you must use a plank and rope to haul rocks up a hill. He never even questioned what he was doing, despite the existence of other possibilities.
Vince on the other hand observed Sam’s struggles. He realized that he wasn’t as physically capable as Sam. He therefore needed to think creatively about the situation in order to achieve his dream.
A Short-cut to Success
This parable highlights the fact that visual thinking will help you get to your end goal or destination much more easily and quickly. However, this will only happen if you are willing to let go of old patterns of thinking.
What served you in the past, may hinder you in the present because the world is shifting and changing at an incredible pace. You therefore need to stay ahead of the game if you have a strong desire to live your dreams. Innovation is the key!
Adopting visual thinking into your life is no longer a choice, it’s rather a competitive advantage that will separate you from the rest of the pack. My hope is that once we start delving into practical structured examples of visual thinking that you will begin to see first hand how this will transform the way you think about your world, life and circumstances.