>> Sunday, December 5, 2010
I was inspired to find out last Friday, as perhaps you did, that there are at least three times as many stars out there in space than scientists had previously thought.
And who knows? Maybe there are more, many more, as the calculation was based on stars astronomers can’t actually see. (For every visible bright star, the team assumed 100 unseen.) And imagine -- we already thought, as the wonderful Carl Sagan famously told us, that there were billions and billions of stars out there.
At the same time, another assumption-busting discovery was reported, based on the behavior of bacteria scraped from the bottom of Mono Lake in California. Experts have long believed that life could only survive in the presence of 6 basic elements (phosphorus carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and sulfur, if you were curious). But defying expectations, the Mono Lake microbes learned how to exist on another element entirely -- arsenic.
I bring these up because if scientists can still make discoveries that challenge our collective notions of the nature of the universe and life as we know it, surely we as marketers have the same opportunities.
Of course, challenging a long-held assumption means being aware that we have deeply-held assumptions –a step that’s easy to overlook. If you believe there are a certain number of stars set in the sky, you’ll never ask whether there might be more beyond our visual reach.
Tom Friedman, talking yesterday on Meet the Press, made the point that achieving success in a global economy (or as he puts it, a flat world) means revisiting cherished assumptions about how to get what we want.
This year, one of the things Wellness seems to mean is reassessing the truths about how we live our lives, especially moving from "can't imagine" to "can do." Or even, "what if?"
What do you really, really think is true? Could you be wrong?.
Maybe you’ll discover brave new worlds, far beyond, or deep within.
Hope this finds you well.