Following Directions

What is it about us humans and directions? For so many, in the old days without GPS, we’d drive around trying to find a place. It was almost an act of God to pull over and ask someone how to get to wherever we were going.

Same thing when we buy something new. We take it out of the box and most times start fiddling with it. Two hours later, longer than it would have taken to read the instructions, we are still at it.

Or if we buy a DIY piece of furniture. The instruction are right there, but we often either half read the instructions. If we do read them, it is a quick skim to get the gist of it and away we go.

I don’t know how many times I thought I had read the instructions or recipe. Then halfway through I realized I’d missed a step or a key ingredient. This sometimes happens even after reading the instructions through a couple of times thinking I’ve learned my lesson.

Whether a recipe, putting furniture together, hooking up the new telephone, reading a manual, or completing a report related to work, it is the same way. We’d save so much time and frustration if we would just closely read what we need to do to complete the task at hand.

Why is this the case? Younger or older, it doesn’t seem to matter. What is it about our brain or intellect that causes us to act in this way? How is this part of the human experience?

Do you have any insights?

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