At work and in everyday life, I’m reminded of a story that has circulated among coaching/therapeutic circles for years about the way to cook a ham. It goes like this:A little girl noticed her mother cutting the butt end off the ham to cook it for the family holiday dinner and asked, “Why do you cut off the end to cook it?” The mother without giving it a moment’s thought, replied, “Why, this is the way my mother always cooked a ham, so I know it’s the right way to do it!” Well, the little girl’s grandmother happened to live close by, so she visited her and asked her the same question, “Grandma, why do you cut the butt end off the ham before you cook it?” Her grandmother replied that her mother had taught her to cook a ham like that. Great granny happened to be visiting for the holiday so the little girl went to her and asked the same question – and this time she got the “real” answer – “Child, when I was cooking hams back then, I only owned one baking pan and it was too small to hold a whole ham so I would cut the butt end off the ham to make it fit!”This is how it works. We follow, without question, office policies/procedures, family dictums and internalized beliefs that generate nothing but misery or more work. We as individuals continue to live out “the rules” from our family of origin without subjecting them to critical thinking. Despite causing lots of stress, people often have adopted a set of irrational ideas that continue to frame their experience. And the sad and strange part is that they may never have personally experienced consequences from having tested the rules.My latest show obsession that I’ve been binge watching is a show on Netflix called “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey”. The producer is “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane. The host is American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. The show pays homage to Carl Sagan’s series from 1980 by presenting scientific concepts about our entire universe. Besides being a fascinating show (And I am not really that into science!), the reason I am bringing it up is because one thing Neil said that resonated with me is “Question everything”. Even in the scientific world he says don’t take everything for face value. Hmmm, if I recall wasn’t the world believed to be flat at one time? The other thing he said that was critical in science is the openness in sharing research for progress to happen and to move knowledge forward. I think you can apply that same thinking in life and in business. We share information with each other in hopes of improving our workflow and our personal growth. I am personally grateful to all the teachers and waves of information that have been pouring in for me this last year. Otherwise, I would be in a very different place right now. The old saying “when the student is ready the teacher will come” is so true!