Unconventional? Checkbox Checked!

When I was still in the dry boring courses in grad school, I was like a toddler.

“Why?” I asked, because “that’s the way it’s always been done,” wasn’t a good enough answer.

In fact, it led me to piracy. Most grad students don’t become pirates, of course, but a few of us did.

You see, when it was our turn to develop strategy or create solutions, we went out and plundered gold from nearby fields. Mainly psychology, social psychology, and sociology at first.

Then when we’d taken what we could salvage from those waters, we went to the edges of the map – to uncharted territory – lands that science was only just discovering.

We dug up academic studies on crystals, feng shui, reiki, and more. And what we began to find was a new kind of treasure.

New scientific research supported some of these unconventional methods. What’s more, we found scientific support going back several decades for some of them. And so we learned. We took what we could carry back to our course papers.

More traditional professors did not care for our actions. I was called a pirate in the comments of a final course paper. My “crew” worked on a group project where we were called heretics for our unwillingness to commit to conventional methods.

And we tested the research for ourselves as best we could. If it didn’t work for us, we vowed to at least admit that to a client. But if the science supported an idea, we were ethically bound to present it to any client who might be open to it.

Today, science is catching up. But I’m still pushing the boundaries on my own, evaluating evidence and letting concepts or methodologies succeed or fail on their own merits, not on any preconceived notions. I’m open but skeptical, so anything in my toolbox now has earned its place. These ideas aren’t crazy. Nor will a blanket approach with them work for every situation, any more than any conventional approach might.

But I’ve found that when you’re willing to ask questions and explore on your own, you’re far more likely to discover new horizons.


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