When I was a very young kid, I remember my Dad – the man who is the master of people skills – telling me that when it came to business or personal relationships, “never burn your bridges.” In other words, if you disagree with someone, be genuinely respectful. And, even if you have to end a relationship, part on the best terms possible. First, it’s the right thing to do. Secondly, burned bridges can come back to you in a very negative way.
Agreed. And, I follow that advice to this day.
Years later, when I was 19, my best buddy was reading this book with a strange-sounding title. It was by Napoleon Hill and entitled, Think And Grow Rich. Since I was brought up seeing my Dad and Mom work many hours to build a successful business – and also had not yet been exposed to these types of writings – the very title was outside of my personal paradigm and I was extremely skeptical.
Then, early in the book, I read a section advising “burning your bridges” when going after your definitive goal.
Based on my young but solidly entrenched paradigm to “never burn your bridges” that totally turned me off.
“Nonsense!” I would have said…had I ever used words like nonsense, which I didn’t, though it’s kind of a cool word. 🙂
10 years after that, I finally read Think And Grow Rich and it changed my life.
Of course, both my Dad and Napoleon Hill were absolutely correct. It’s just that they were speaking out of two very different contexts.
I had let my paradigm totally close my mind to a – for me – new and unexplored idea. And it slowed my learning curve ten years.
Have you ever done something similar? If so, what do you do now to make sure that doesn’t happen?