James Veitch: This is what happens when you reply to spam email (TEDTalk)

Watch the video for the humor. Commiserate in the vengeance exacted on an email spammer. But hear what was discovered when someone opted for the “crazy” option. It’s the extraordinary tale that connects yet another dot.

In the PostIt brainstorming exercise we have in YCISL workshops, we position our ideas along a normal to crazy axis. We view the crazy end as the area with the greatest opportunity for creative challenge and outcome.

In his December 2015 TED Talk, James Veitch spins his story about toying with email scammers. It’s a great story but I especially was struck by how this got started – with him almost by instinct tapping the delete button which is conditioned behavior for many of us, but instead deciding to see what would happen if he responded. What seemed to have ensued was highly creative thinking.

“I thought, I could just delete this. Or I could do what I think we’ve all always wanted to do.”

How often has this sort of choice come across our minds? How fast have we been to self-check ourselves and do the thing that we have short-circuited our thinking for the sake of convenience and saving time?

What about when we are shopping in a supermarket? With all the product choices on a shelf (at an instant) and the change in choices (over longer time periods) which we sometimes register – not to mention reshuffling (over medium time periods), have we conditioned ourselves to have “tunnel vision” when selecting products? And when we do notice a new competing product, we ask the “what if?” question to check whether we might be making a mistake.

For YCISL, we should consider our behavior when our our path gives us choices. Are we being “mindful” at these paths or do we become engrossed by the past or future?

What exercise can we conduct to illuminate our tendencies and train our behavior to be more mindful?

Comments are closed.