Saturday, August 27, 2011

My favorite reframing memory

Reframing things can be a powerful tool.  I've had two times when reframing made a significant difference.

The first involved two of my nephews.  There was a book I wanted written for them.  In my mind I knew just the author to write it, someone with over a million volumes in print and scores of titles.  I approached them and suggested that they write the book.  Silly man, she said, I've been trying to get an editor to publish that book for twenty years.  She even sent me a short volume (what I would call a proof of concept, I'm not sure what real writers call them).

I reframed the project by giving it a different name, wrote one of her editors and asked if they had ever thought of asking for a book like that from her.  Within a month she got a contact through her agent asking her if she would consider writing a book ... I sent the nephews copies.

The other was a friend who noted that there are many people who can cut someone to the quick with an insult that lingers forever (or slightly longer).  She said people ought to try to do the thing with compliments.  I've tried to do that, from time to time, ever since.  She was right, it does seem to be harder, but it also seems to be more worthwhile.

One of those times I succeeded in reframing something that had eluded someone else for twenty years.  The other, someone reframed things for me in a way that has lingered with me for many years.

Obviously I don't get that lucky that often -- or I would have more memories of powerful and significant reframing experiences.  But I'm grateful for those two.

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