Michael Michalko
Michael Michalko : Dancing in the Rain

Creative Thinking

Dancing in the Rain

Is it a frog or a horse?

By Michael Michalko | Updated 9/8/15

Below is a drawing. What does it look like to you?

A frog or a horse?

If you said frog, you were right. However, if you said horse, you were also right. Can you see the horse? (Hint: Tilt your head to the right.)

We see different things in the lines and shapes of the drawing depending on how we look at the drawing. In a way, it is the same in the real world where we don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. If you are a happy person, the world is a joyful place. If you are a sad person, the world is a place of despair.

A few years back, two men, a paralytic and a man with a terrible lung disease, were confined to a hospital room. Each day, the medical staff would help the man with the lung disease sit up for an hour and, during that time, he would gaze out the window and describe what he saw to his paralyzed roommate whose bed was on the side of the room away from the window.

He'd describe children running and playing, a father walking with his child, a bluebird in a tree across the way, how the wind moved the clouds, how the rain washed the sidewalks and roads clean, and two little boys playing catch. His descriptions gave the paralyzed man a sense of hope, a will to live.

One day, the man with the lung disease died. The paralyzed man asked to be moved close to the window and, when the nurses obliged, asked them to help him sit up so he could see out. Again the nurses obliged, but all that could be seen from the window was a wall.

Shocked, the paralyzed man told the nurses about the wonderful things his former roommate had described and about how those descriptions had given him hope. The nurses were a little shook up by this and told the paralyzed man something he didn't know about his roommate.

"He was blind," they said.

The point is, the world is largely in your mind. It's how you think, how you dream, that determines how you see and perceive things. Life is not about waiting for storms to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain. •

© 2013 Michael Michalko. All rights reserved.

Michael MichalkoMichael Michalko is one of the most highly-acclaimed creativity experts in the world and author of the best-seller Thinkertoys. More »
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