Stare at it Long Enough, Make it Disappear


If you stare at something long enough, sometimes it will disappear. Oh, it won’t literally disappear, but your vision of it will change.

business man starring at tv

When we work with clients, we often seem to surprise them by stating the obvious. Well, it is obvious to us. The obvious had become invisible to them without help.

How often do you see the street signs near your home? What about the billboards as you commute? Can you remember the road surface details from the last time you drove? If you are like most people, you “saw” it for a moment but it didn’t really register.

Ever have someone proofread your writing? While spellcheckers help you avoid spelling errors, I find proofreaders often find other errors, such as grammar errors or correctly spelled but incorrectly used words (such as to, too, and two). We lose vision of the problems that are quickly apparent to fresh eyes.

More personally, do you really see the problems at work or home anymore? Are you working to solve symptoms because the core problem is invisible now, forgotten or hidden beneath the urgency of responding?

So what is one to do?

Stop trying to be right, and strive to be successful. Remember that success requires overcoming our own blindness to problems that everyone else can see.

Trust others, ask for help, seek honest opinions, and most importantly, strive to honestly see the world from the perspective of others. You may not always agree, and you shouldn’t always agree. But I promise that the simple exercise of considering other views on problems and solutions will help you understand and overcome far more than continuing to blindly charge ahead.

Glenn S. PhillipsGlenn S. Phillips is the author of the book Nerd-to-English: Your Everyday Guide to Translating Your Business, Your Messages, and Yourself.  You can email Glenn directly at

Glenn is also the founder, and Senior Consultant, of Forte’ Incorporated, a consulting firm that works with business leaders to understand and address the often hidden technology and business risks lurking within their organizations.

© Copyright 2013. Glenn S. Phillips, Forte’ Incorporated. (205) 985-1111


About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.