Getting Past the Brick Wall

Love this post quoting Randy Pausch’s last lecture:

It’s very important to know when you’re in a pissing match, and it’s very important to get out of it as quickly as possible.

Professor Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

I don’t generally think about it in these kinds of terms, but I can’t tell you how many times I find myself “stuck” with someone who won’t budge from an insurmountable obstacle.

Whether’s it’s a work colleague, one of my kids, or someone I’m trying to work with in the community — one of the most clarifying questions I ask in these situations is, “What do I want, really?”

It’s easy to form an adversarial relationship where what I want is to win and for the other person to lose. That’s human nature when you don’t get what you want. You’re not giving me what I want, so I’m not going to give you what you want, nanner nanner nanner.

But rarely do I really want them to lose. And recognizing that neither of us are getting what we want right now enables me the freedom to think outside the box and give something I don’t care about in exchange for something I really, really care about.