There’s a scene in Men in Black burned into my brain that surfaces every so often. Near the beginning of movie Will Smith and a few other candidates are given a battery of tests. One of those challenges is taking a test in an ornately awkward room.
The chairs are too small and uncomfortable. There are no good writing surfaces for each person. The paper for the test is flimsy and easily penetrated by the pencil. The pencils break. It is one of the worst test taking environments ever.
After suffering a few seconds Will Smith’s character notices a table in the room away from everyone. He casually stands up and slides it across the room to his chair and proceeds to take the test in relative comfort while everyone else squirms.
Often times in life I find myself being held hostage by my own learned helplessness. I am the elephant tied to a stake I could easily rip out if it weren’t for memories of it holding me back when I was an infant. There is nothing getting in my way but my own dogmatic mental constructs.
When I remember to take a step back, to pause, to zoom out, the conclusion is so easy to see. It is so simple once I see it that I laugh out loud at myself afterwards.
Today I remembered to step back. I saw the table and moved it. Problem solved.