Proyecto Visión 21

Keeping obsolete ideas prevents me from seeing the present and building the future

Francisco Miraval

I recently had a problem with my car insurance company. I needed a certain document from them, but they never returned my calls. As expected, my frustration began to grow, and it did intensify with each unanswered call or message.

Since nobody returned my calls, I went to the company’s web site, only to discover my password (which I knew it was the correct one) was not accepted. It took me several minutes to get a new password. I entered the site and searched the document I needed, but it wasn’t there.

I searched for my document in several places, but, not finding it, I had to do the only thing I didn’t want to do: I had to call customer service. I did it. I for a long time to be able to talk with somebody who, obviously, transferred me to another person who in turn transferred me to yet another person. She did listen to me and, once again, she put me on hold.

My frustration was rapidly growing, reaching undesirable levels. After all, why something so simple as downloading a document was now a complicated task? Finally, the customer service representative returned to the phone and, not surprisingly, I was put on hold again.

I was ready to hang up and forget about the document. However, I needed that document, so I had to wait. This time, I got the answer in just a few minutes.

“Mr. Miraval”, she said, “the reason why you can’t find the document you are looking for in our web site is because you are no longer doing businesses with us. You closed your account five years ago. You now have a different insurance company and you are calling the wrong company”.

This time, I was not upset with the company, but with me. I thanked the customer service representative for her patience and then I asked myself the obvious question: How can I be such a fool?

Even a short answer will be longer than this short column. Regardless, my foolishness emerged from two elements: clinching to an idea or belief from the past and not challenging the validity of that idea or belief in the present.

In the case of my experience with the “wrong” insurance company, somebody took the time to correct my mistake and just a few minutes later I went to the “right” web site and easily found and downloaded the document I needed.

Yet, how many more beliefs, ideas, dogmas, creeds, or ideology I still carry with me, without ever challenging them, not even after they became obsolete and irrelevant for my present, and, even worst, because it is dangerous to keep them? And who can help me to awake from my mistakes?

Perhaps nobody should help me because I had to do it alone. It is a process of self-discovery, a challenge of enormous proportions for those who live at a time when everything around us is enticing us to forget who we truly are.

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