As you all know, I am always keeping myself busy. On top of running from meeting to meeting, writing my column, filming my TV segment and making jewelry, I also have to cook dinner and do house chores like everyone else.
I pretty much have my weekly routine down pat, so usually on Fridays I do my food shopping. However, I am always in a rush to get dinner started and ready before hubby gets home. So when I am ready to check out of the supermarket, its “game on” — I walk fast down the main drag along the checkout lines trying to see which opening will get me out the fastest (all of you type-As know what I mean). However these last few times shopping I made an interesting observation. The seemingly “faster” self-checkout lines were backed up, while the “slower” regular checkout lanes were mostly just one person about to pay for their items. I said to myself, “Wow, I can’t believe that I just passed a few open lanes where I had the opportunity to be the next one to check out,” but for whatever reason, the people in the “self-checkout” lanes were just standing there, not being proactive.
Now I may be reading into this too deeply, but I wanted to share my thoughts because it made me think about the quote “perception is reality,” and how true it is in even the most random of situations. In life we all look for that “self checkout” lane because we think that we won’t have any hassles, we can go at our own pace, and we can get through the process pretty quickly or faster than having someone help us. But that is not always the case. Just because something says to us “fast,” doesn’t mean that it truly is.
The funny thing is that most of the “self-checkout” people wind up needing help anyway. Something isn’t ringing up, the coupon isn’t scanning, how much does the banana weigh? — whatever. And there is always that one attendant who has to help all four registers, so if someone is backed up with an issue it could technically back everyone else up.
Another related perception story is an example my husband (an optometrist) complains about when he sees the 1-800-Contacts commercial. He gets irritated that people order contacts from what they perceive to be a cheaper option, because they advertise that they are 50-percent less than a private practice and they deliver the product right to your door. However, at my husband’s office, he has them in stock, for your convenience, without a wait, plus he is usually 10-15-percent less than those advertised and he direct-ships also. With all of that you also get personalized service and a physical place to go to. But because of perception people wind up ordering from the online retailer. These people could’ve saved time, money and energy if they just did some research to begin with.
Other perception examples could be: the way people dress — it can say one thing about them, but their personality could be another; self perception — you may perceive yourself differently than others perceive you. You catch my drift. I am sure something like this has happened to some of you in different circumstances. Has it? I am curious to hear your responses.
In any event, make sure to open your eyes and if you decide that living in the “fast lane” isn’t getting you anywhere, then let me know and I will do my best to connect you to the right people. There are so many businesses, organizations and private people right here in our area who have resources, and who know people who can help you succeed.
Sometimes we need to take the time to look past the easy options in our lives and look for the opportunities to get ahead with the help of someone else. There are so many times that we take the easy way out because it’s only a natural instinct to follow, but if we were to just take those few extra steps and keep our eyes open for better opportunities, we may just realize that with the help of others we can achieve more.
Happy reading everyone, and remember to ask yourself “Am I on Whitney’s Radar?”
Whitney is an on-air multimedia personality, and works behind the scenes helping businesses gain extra exposure, through her WIN Promotions video production services.