From ten steps aside…

I remember reading in a book, one from the Chicken Soup series, I think (though I still don’t know why I read the book in the first place!) that in every situation, one must always re-assess it from a different perspective. The way it was quoted was what struck me, really:

We must always learn to take ten steps aside and look at the situation in a different way.

Sadly I do not remember whose story it was, but it has had enough impact to last in my mind for a long time, even till this day. As far as I remember, the story was where a woman mistakes another (or perhaps a man?) and keeps shunning him out of miscommunication or some such thing and she learns later on, after it is too late, that the man had no unethical intentions. He was suffering from cancer and all he wanted was a friend to spend the last few days of his life with.

Anyway, the point I’m making here, while perhaps not being all that dramatic and touchy, is nonetheless important.

In one of my earlier writings where I spilled out the first thoughts that occurred to me (and it was the first time I did that, as I remember) I said that I ought not drive a car anymore and made, I confess, strong opinions about the art of driving.

While I still do say that driving is an art, I think I was thoroughly flawed in my outlook that day.

I said—because I scratched the bumper of a car, sliding it against a gate post—that I ought not drive anymore, and that I am no good at it. Of course nothing has proved my point otherwise on the latter issue, but, as for the former, I think I have found a might good reason to do just the opposite. And all because, after I came to my senses, I looked at the situation taking ten steps aside.

I decided that there was no point in letting go simply because you bumped the car into something. I decided that the best solution for me was instead to drive more often, and not to practice, rather to take it as a challenge.

When I (pardon me if I’ve made this a cliche by now) took ten steps aside and reviewed the situation, I saw that the best thing for me to do was disregard my earlier, rather impulsive, conclusions and take it as a challenge. That I would be more careful next time round and a little something else I do not care to say.

Bt then I realised that this solution quite works for many situations. If at first it does not work as expected, take it as a challenge and make it work. This reminds me of an adage: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

I would perhaps now re-quote it as,

If you can’t beat ‘em, take it as a challenge and try again

I know it does not flow off the tongue as easily, but I believe it is more utilitarian.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think this approach would work to our benefit when we need it?