D is for People Who Operate In A Different Dimension

Some people operate in a different dimension. They have a different way of thinking, feeling and creating.

This does not mean they are good or bad, brilliant or useless. Just that they are different. Let’s explore how you can recognise such people.

They develop their own
language and
view of the world

Many peak performers go beyond incremental development. They seem to operate in a totally different world.

The Finance Director of a retail company reminded me of this when describing his background.

“I was always good at mathematics,” he said.

“Gaining a place at Cambridge, I planned to work hard and get a top degree. But after attending the first seminar I changed my plans.

“Certainly I was good at maths, but in my group there were two people on the verge of being geniuses.

“They grasped concepts and offered proofs so quickly that everybody else was left behind. I decided to settle for a 2:1 and a good social life.

“After university I found a job in Retail. There I met several entrepreneurs who had a unique view of the market.

Whilst not as logical as the mathematicians, they shaped trends before any of their competitors.”

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How can you recognise such remarkable people? Here are several clues.

They develop their own language.

Certainly they may know the official language in their chosen field – be it in maths, business, psychology or whatever. But they go beyond using clichés.

They develop their own language that resonates with other pioneers. They quickly move from the concept to the concrete, giving lots of specific examples. Speaking from experience, they also have a certain timbre to their voice.

They ask their own questions.

Such people continually ask questions that stimulate their imagination. They even go beyond the old George Bernard Shaw quotation that was used by Robert Kennedy:

“Some look at things that are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?”

Wisdom comes from the kind of questions we ask, because this shapes the answers. You will get very different answers, for example, if you ask a person the following sets of questions:

When have you felt most creative and successful? What did you do right then? How can you follow these principles in the future?

When have you felt most frustrated? Why did you feel frustrated? How can you deal with frustration in the future?

Creative people continually use variations of the three keywords: What, How, When. They ask:

“What the real results I want to achieve? How can I do my best to achieve these results? When do I want to make this happen?”

They develop their own view of the world.

They have their own paradigm. They see things differently in their own field or have a different way of looking at the world.

During my twenties I spent lots of time with leaders in the field of caring for troubled teenagers. They had a different approach from conventional methods of treating young people.

Whilst most psychiatrists fixated on problems, the pioneers said things like:

“Look for when the youngster comes alive. What are they doing right then? How can you help them to take responsibility for shaping their future?”

Since then I have seen similar characteristics displayed by pioneers in sport, business and other fields. Such people keep developing their unique view of the world.

Planet Earth

They go ‘A, B … and then leap to … Z’

The gifted architect walks onto a site and visualises the finished house. The great soccer player sees the defence splitting pass that will create a goal. The superb retailer knows how they want the customer to be feeling after they leave the shop.

When entering the situation in which they excel, such people quickly see the picture of success. They go ‘A, B … and then leap to … Z’.

Looking back on their lives, such people recall putting themselves in places where they felt in their element. One round-the-world sailor said:

“I could not wait to get home from school at night to read books about sailing.

“Every weekend I travelled 50 miles to the coast and returned late on Sunday.

“Studying the seas, I learned how to anticipate conditions. It was good for my soul and I felt at home was on the high seas.

“During my twenties I decided to lead sailing expeditions to remote places.

“Maybe it was because I was highly motivated, but I quickly learned how to raise money and get publicity. Soon I got into the habit of creating an end product, such as a book or a film.

“Nowadays I often think of the end product first, because this helps to get funding for the actual trip. Then I work backwards to map out the total journey.”

Such people are impatient and want instant results. Sometimes they have had difficulty at school.

They may have been labelled as dyslexic, having Attention Deficit Disorder or other challenges. Some had supportive parents who helped them to believe in their view of the world.

One successful trader I know had synaesthesia, the joining up of senses that are normally separate. The teachers did not understand when he talked about literally ‘smelling a deal’. Luckily he was good at sports, which meant he got away with doing little work at school.

When in their element, such people immediately see patterns. They want to produce something quickly on the route towards their long-term goals. They aim to move from awareness to action to achievement.

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They create things that
express their view of the world

Great artists want to share their vision with the world. So do some of the people who operate in a different dimension.

Some follow this path by pursuing their passion, translating it into a clear purpose and expressing this through various projects.

They may aim to develop a cure for an illness, make a scientific breakthrough, create a new model, publish a book, make a film, build a prototype or whatever.

Such people often go through the process of design, development and delivery. They create something that expresses their view of the world. So how to relate to such people?

You can decide if you actually do want to relate to them, because they are often quite different.

You can tune into their wavelength – as much as is possible – and ask about their goals.

You can ask about their passions, purpose and projects. You can ask about the things they want to share with the world.

Sometimes we meet people who live in a different dimension. We can then decide if we want to learn from them.

Sometimes this can be a challenge. But it can also prove rewarding and develop our own view of the world.

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