Walking (and Working) Backwards

Did you ever try walking backwards? I did the other day. Well, not actually walking backwards…Backwards

I take a walk daily. I’ve been doing so since I was a little girl. It feels so good, so natural and it’s such a simple way to exercise my body and my mind.

The other day, on a whim, I decided to start at the end of my usual route and walk from there to where I usually begin my walk. I know…that wasn’t exactly rocket science, but it was interesting to take in everything in reverse, to see the “backs” of things: trees, buildings, signs, everything.

As I “reverse-walked,” I couldn’t help but see things differently. I spied a hidden garden that I’d never noticed before. I saw sunlight glistening on a building, giving it a dazzling glow that I’d been missing all those years I’d been approaching from the opposite direction. And, I couldn’t help thinking that I should walk backwards more often, literally and figuratively.

What might I be missing each time I start a project at “the beginning”? Could I achieve a better result if I started somewhere in “the middle” or, even, at “the end”?

Could I be a better problem solver if I consciously worked backwards? By clearly defining what the end result should be, could I reverse-engineer the steps needed to reach that goal?

Certainly, as a musician, I recall teachers suggesting that the best way to learn a piece of music is to “learn it backwards.” In other words, start from the final measure, then append and learn a few prior measures, little by little, until you find your way back to the beginning. This works particularly well when memorizing anything.

Might I be more creative if I consciously “work backwards” more often? It’s incredibly easy to fall into the habit of sticking to a system, especially when that system has been working well for a long time. If I reverse my creative process, might my results be, dare I say it, more creative?

The simple exercise of taking my walk from “back to front” has reminded me that there is more than one way to approach a problem, reach a goal or generate a new idea.

I need to practice walking backwards more often.

What analogies can you add to this list?

by Rebecca Cochran

Life Editing

Rather than making “Resolutions” this weird New Year, I’ve decided to do some “Life Editing.” What follows is my A to Z list of items and habits I’m vowing to edit out of my life as a way to make room for more good stuff !

A      Adverbs: Because life is short, isn’t it, Ernest?

B      Babbling: Who wants to listen to all my useless small talk anyway?

C      Cheap French Wine:  Où est le point ? Taste is everything !

D      Dillydallying: Life’s too short to waste time !

E      Exaggerating: Why make circumstances seem wilder than they really are?

F      Following: Lead, instead.

G      Giving Up: Keep going, even when I think I can’t.

H      Hurrying: If I’m constantly hurrying through life, I may miss out on some of the good stuff !

I        Good Intentions: Don’t just plan, act !

J       Junk Food: No explanation needed, right?

K      Knickknacks: Curios, collectibles or clutter? Pare it down !

L       Lonely: The ‘2020 Word of the Year’, right? Learn to enjoy time alone, which is so different than being lonely.

M      Moderation: If it’s worth doing, it’s worth going all-in, right?

N      Nightclubs: Hmmm… what’re nightclubs?

O      Overthinking: Again, life’s too short.

P      Perfectionism: It doesn’t really exist, so why bother?

Q      Quitting: Success is partly about not giving up. (See ‘G’ above.)

R      Retirement: Research shows that those who continue to engage in meaningful work enjoy longer, healthier lives.

S      I’m Stumped: Can’t think of a single “S” word worth giving up. You?

T       Television: Yes, even PBS.

U      Utopian Ideas: See ‘P’ above.

V      Very: My least favorite adverb. (See ‘A’ above.)

W     Worry: Why bother? Be happy !

X      :-x: Emoticons have never been my thing !

Y       Yes: Instead, learn to say “No” at least once a week.

Z       Zoom: Need I say more ?

What would you add to this list ?

What is Marketing?

Marketing is a Process.

The process of asking lots of questions. And listening.

Conducting research. Listening some more.

Prototyping. Listening.

Measuring and prototyping some more. Listening.

And then, when something starts to work, do more of that.

Keep measuring. Keep testing. Keep listening.

Especially listening.

Because, what works today may not necessarily work tomorrow.