A song by Joni Mitchell, “Both Sides Now”, came to my mind as I was mulling over this post. The chorus goes:
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all
The other two choruses are similar and describe the songwriter’s experiences about love and life. The conclusion is, that after looking at clouds, love and life from “Both Sides Now”, we really don’t know anything about these three at all! Pretty depressing, you might think? But it doesn’t have to be.
I like looking up the origins of words, phrases and so forth, as well as their etymology and current use in everyday communication. Perhaps one of the reasons why Joni Mitchell came to the conclusion that she really didn’t know anything about clouds, love and life is that she wasn’t as circumspect in looking at these three as she might have been. There is a list of references below that I’ve included so that you can get into the habit of looking up words for yourself. Looking at clouds, love and life from “Both Sides Now” gives me the impression of looking at two aspects of each of the three. I wonder if Joni Mitchell might have gained more insights, and perhaps more inspiration and encouragement, if she had taken the time and effort to be more circumspect? I’m sure she would have!
How about you? Do you decide to be as circumspect as you can at every turn? We can’t be circumspect in all things, of course, but we can decide that we will be wherever possible! Do we examine all the merits and demerits of each case, each decision, and not simply default to “argue the law”, in a manner of speaking? Do we sell the upside and hide the downside? Or do we hide behind our objections when considering actions which are probably essential to saving our business and making it thrive rather than survive? Do we default to the notion that we HAVE to do it just because everyone else is? How has that been serving you so far?
One of the bandwagons that everyone seems to be jumping on increasingly is this notion of “going digital”. I’m not against “going digital”. I’m writing on a “digital platform” here, in case you haven’t noticed. What I always point out is that, like all things technological, digital is an enabler, a multiplier. Enablers multiplied by zero will yield zero. Are your basics sound? Do people buy from you or engage you because they are helped, or because they are put in a position where they feel they have no choice but use you or buy from you?
Go beyond “Both Sides Now”. Be circumspect, don’t just stick your one or two aspects. That will gain you respect.