I am quite the HGTV junkie and Josh Temple, host of HGTV's House Crashers, used the phrase above on an episode I saw recently. For those of you who may not know the show, the basic premise is that a contractor stakes out a home improvement store for unsuspecting Do-It-Yourselfers to take him home and do a renovation of a room in 3 days. All for FREE!
Those of us who watch, and even you reading this who may never have heard of the show, are thinking, well that's a total no brainer. But I challenge you to take a moment and do some self-reflection to see if you really have the faith, trust, wonder and belief required to take such an offer. To, in essence, take the magic beans and trade the cow.
You see, most of us are cynical. I mean if you are past the age of 25, you've likely gotten burned in life a few times, and each of those experiences of being hurt, lied to or cheated on become the filter through which we see all other experiences. It takes an incredible amount of faith and courage to see each person for who they are and to see each situation for what it is. It is impossible not to carry your prior experiences into each new interaction, but it is possible for you to choose not to let prior experiences taint the purity of the present.
I believe we all have been given instincts, intuition, and judgment but we don't always use it. When we are young and naïve we, oftentimes, don't trust our instincts and as a result suffer the consequences. Therefore as adults we taint the present because of mistakes made in the past when we may not have been mature enough to follow our intuition. That can be a vicious cycle.
Rarely in life will you be confronted with a scenario like they depict on House Crashers; but there will be many times in your life when you have to give up what you know to brave the unknown. These are all Magic Bean vs. Cow moments. The “Cow” is the status quo, what you've always done the “safe” bet. But the “Magic Beans” are the possibilities, the what-if's. The Magic Beans will take you places that the Cow never will. Why? Because the Cow represents doing the same thing you've always done and the Magic beans represent taking a risk.
So in business, as in life, you have to make these Magic Beans vs. Cow decisions; But in business you not only have your personal filter through which you are viewing situations, but also the business filter that you've acquired with every business encounter. It's OK to be a little hesitant about choosing the Magic Beans; Since you can't be sure that the beanstalks will sprout and grow, nor what's at the top. But you can be certain that if you choose the Cow, you'll never find out.
The next time you are presented with a Magic Beans vs. Cow decision take the following steps and you won't go wrong:
Take a moment to check in with your intuition. Your gut is rarely wrong
Remove the filters you've acquired and view the experience with untainted eyes
Choose the Magic Beans, plant them and hold on for the ride!