The great thing about learning is that it is not confined to certain times or locations. Learning can happen anytime, anywhere.
I like to highlight this fact by, once a month, looking at things we encounter on a daily basis and seeing what important lesson we can from them.
In today’s installment of “Five Things We Can Learn From Everyday Objects” we are going to talk about an object we always want to have at our fingertips…an object that conveys power and control…an object that is the source of many fights…the television remote control.
5 Things We Can Learn From A TV Remote
1. We Have To Press The Right Buttons
TV remote controls are pretty awesome. With the simple click of a button we can pause a show, watch two shows at once, or change channels. So much power with so little work. But there is a catch. We can’t just point the remote at the screen and press any button. We have to press the right buttons. One wrong button and we could be watching MSNBC when we meant to watch Fox News. It may not seem like much, but the right buttons make a big difference.
It is said that a good coach or great boss knows how to press the right buttons for their team. They know when to yell vs. when to console. They know when to pull back and when to push ahead. This knowledge can make or break the success of a team. The same is important on our individual projects. Knowing what buttons to press, and when, can be the difference between going in reverse or moving forward.
2. We Need Power
Don’t you just hate when the batteries in the TV remote go dead? It always happens at the worst time and there are no other batteries in sight. Without power, our remote is useless and we are left with a button-filled paperweight.
When we do not have power, we are useless. I’m not talking about power as in muscles or command of a room. I’m talking about sleep. Recharging our batteries. I once I sat in a meeting where one woman slept the entire time. Not only was she useless during the meeting, but I’m guessing she was useless for the rest of the week because she missed what was covered in the meeting. She was basically a button-less paperweight.
3. We Have Power When We Have Control
The person who controls the remote controls the TV. They decide what is watched and watch is skipped over. Many fights have been fought over who decides what to watch. Ultimately, the holder of the remote decides.
Now that I have shared the earth shattering news that we need to get some sleep, let’s talk about the other type of power we need. We need control. When we are in control, we are way more efficient. We control our diet and we lose weight. We control a room and people listen. We control our bowels and we do not need diapers. Control is very important.
4. It Helps To Know Where We Are Turning
For my TV, I know that channel 206 is ESPN. When I want to watch ESPN, I know exactly what to do…press 206. If I didn’t know what channel ESPN was, I would have a very difficult time getting there. I may eventually find it, but it would take many more steps.
In life, it helps to know where we are turning. It also helps to know what we are looking for. Just like looking for sports on ESPN, looking for a career change or a new diet is a heck of a lot more difficult if we do not know where to turn.
5. We Can Do It From Here
The reason the phrase “turn the channel” exists is because we used to have to get up and physically turn a knob to change channel. Imagine having to get out of your comfy recliner, stumble over to the TV and use our hands. Sounds awful, right? Thankfully those times are long gone. Now we can change the channel from the other room if needed. God Bless America.
Thanks to fancy inventions and amazing technology we can do a lot from where we are. We can work with people from all over the world from our comfy recliner. We can go to school in our pajamas (I guess we could always do that, just now we don’t get funny looks). The world is more connected than ever and gone is the excuse “I would change, but I don’t want to move.”