It’s funny what you remember.

When I was a kid, one day my father brought home a set of cassette tapes. They were sort of a motivational program on creativity by a guy named Mike Vance. To give you some background, Vance’s job was to energize and activate creativity at Walt Disney and, later on, at Apple. (Working for Walt and Steve. So…a pretty creative guy.)

I think I pretty much have the entire set of tapes memorized. Vance had all sorts of crazy ideas, recommendations to try, and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking throughout. (Incidentally, he’s the guy that popularized that term.) Listening to those six cassettes was like nothing I’d experienced before. It was transformative.

One particular anecdote had to do with the old saw that ‘you can’t teach an old dog a new trick.’ Vance goes on to explain that that thinking is ridiculous. “Of course you can!” And why is that?

Because an old dog appreciates a new trick.

This is a fundamentally important idea. People love a new thing, whether it’s the next gadget or shiny object or way to do something. They appreciate new tricks.

Be the dog that’s always on the lookout for a new trick, a new way to do things, a better technique or tool. Not necessarily the next shiny object, of course, but it’s hard to find gold if you don’t pick up a few shiny objects along the journey.

For me, using video conference calling was one of those new tricks. (See page 107.) It came as a suggestion from a consultant that essentially insisted that our calls be conducted on Skype. Initially skeptical, I became convinced of the effectiveness of video when I realized how much less distracted my conversations were, and more memorable.

And with this whole internet thing right at your fingertips, you’ve no shortage of great ideas, troves of information, and innovative tools to discover, evaluate, and adopt (or not.) Maybe check out some of the many fantastic podcast options to pick up new ideas, listen to different opinions or simply stretch your brain. Or subscribe to a sales newsletter or two. (Or you might buy the occasional sales book, read it, and then buy copies for all your friends. It’s just an idea…)

In short, make it a habit. Be on the hunt for that next transformative or liberating idea. The payoff is worth it. And these days, they are abundant and yours for the finding.

Because who doesn’t appreciate new tricks?