Our vision has a blind spot, and if an object is in that area, you won’t be able to see it although it’s actually there. You might later be surprised to learn that the space which you thought is empty actually contains an object.
Similarly, there could be “blind spots” in our personal thoughts and habits. We might not be aware of some bad thoughts and habits we actually have. Without realizing it, they cause our productivity to suffer. They drag our productivity down day by day. So, if you want to be truly productive, it’s important to discover these blind spots. While it might not be easy (which is why they are called blind spots anyway), here are some ideas to help you do that:
1. Always keep an open mind
Having an open mind is the essential first step to discover your blind spots. What you currently believe might be wrong, so you should always be open to new possibilities. Be prepared to challenge and change your beliefs.
2. Have some close friends who can be honest with you
This is probably one of the most effective ways to discover your blind spots. Your close friends know you well and care about you, so they are in the best position to help you discover your blind spots.
3. Learn to see from other people’s perspective
When other people express different opinions than yours, try to understand their point of view. Often they can see something that you can’t. So listen first, and comment later.
4. Read diverse kind of readings
Just like different lenses can give you different views in a camera, different kind of readings can give you different ways to see life. It’s as if you have different “lenses” to see your life through. Things which are not obvious through one “lens” may clearly be seen through the other “lenses”.
5. Make friends with people from different backgrounds than yours
While having friends who can be honest with you (point #2) is important, it won’t help you much if they all come from the same background as you. In that case, both you and they might not be able to see the blind spots. That’s why you need to know people from different backgrounds who can see things differently.
6. Learn about other cultures
Why do we need to learn about other cultures? Because there might be blind spots that affect an entire culture. In such case, even people around you (who usually come from the same culture as you) would not be able to help you. Only by seeing your life through another cultures can you discover such blind spots.
7. Watch your own thoughts
Sometimes the blind spots occur because our mind runs in autopilot. In such condition, there can be a lot of thoughts that pass through our mind unnoticed, some of which might be harmful. So watch your thoughts, and be conscious of how you think. By doing so you can then identify inappropriate thoughts in your mind.
8. Find role models and learn from their life
Learning from other people’s life so that we do not need to repeat the same mistakes is among the best ways to learn. It saves us a lot of time and energy. So find some role models and learn about their life. One way to do so is by reading their biographies.
9. Find mentors
Mentors basically are people who have gone through the way before you. Having mentors can greatly help you in your personal growth because their experiences may enable them to discover your blind spots.
10. Ask others: how can I improve what I’m doing now?
Asking the right question will give you the right answer. By asking how you can improve what you are doing, you invite people to give you constructive inputs and criticisms. There might be some areas in which you lack something but you do not notice. The feedback you get from this question can bring such areas to your attention.
11. When your performance is not up to your expectation, ask why
The fact that your performance is below your expectation is a clue that your blind spots might be at work. Asking “why” leads you to find out the cause of the underperformance which might eventually reveal some blind spots.
12. Maintain a personal growth journal and review them regularly
Sometimes we discover our blind spots only to forget them later. This wastes a lot of time since you will then need to rediscover them. One effective way to stop such “recurring” blind spots is maintaining a personal journal in which you write your findings and thoughts related to your personal growth. By reviewing this journal regularly, you will always be reminded of the discovered blind spots.
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