Thursday, December 23, 2010

Blue Frogs and Big Thoughts

Have you ever seen a blue frog?

I have, although it was merely a metaphor. I had a drink with my expatriate friend and Ironman triathlete, Joseph Seetoh at a pub with that name. Being in our maturing years, we opted for a couple of pints of bottled Guinness Stout, touted by seasoned drinkers as the drink of choice (largely for its medicinal properties).

I was thinking: is there a blue frog? Are all frogs green? What happens to our paradigms (mental models) when we observe an outlier? What happens to our established facts when we register an aberration in our measurements? What happens to our confidence in others when secrets are leaked? How do you behave towards somebody you know well, when you discover their checkered past?

Seth Godin wrote about purple cows – his notion that these odd-coloured cows are more easily noticed and remembered than ordinary ones. Children colour intuitively, as we can attest to their creative interpretations of on a coloring book. Bright colours change our moods; darker colour and shades dampen our spirits. In Vincent Van Gogh's later years, he painted in shades of blue and grey (metaphors for bad days of depression).

Perhaps, the blue frog is our metaphor for what may lie out there. A blue frog may be lying beyond the horizon of our current thinking. Last night was a blue frog moment, where conversations shift our mental orientations of what is, what could be, and what may be realized with a paintbrush and a palette of new colours.

Photo-credit: Joseph Seetoh with his iPhone.

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