If it ain’t broke, break it….


While this phrase may violate your English grammar, it embraces what we know about today’s work environment. Doing things like they were done 20 years ago is very dangerous. Just yesterday as I was listening to the March 2012 Success CD the speaker mentioned that we used to say if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get the results you’ve always gotten.  But that’s no longer true.  If you continue doing what you’ve always done – or even what you were doing last year – you’re falling more and more behind every day.

Here are some recent quotes I have heard from clients:

  • I’ve wasted many years of my life
  • I got too comfortable
  • I’m suffering from burnout
  • I feel like I’m a box of parts and nothing fits together
  • I’ve traded my soul for a paycheck
  • My job has ruled my life
  • I’ve been too complacent in my life
  • I’m on a greased slide to Purgatory
  • I feel like I’m stuck in Groundhog Day

One example of the dangers of sticking to conventional wisdom comes from the change that occurred in football in 1906. Prior to this time, football was a low scoring game of running and kicking. Guys in leather helmets plodded down the field with the “three yards and a cloud of dust” strategy that was common to every team. Then in 1906, the forward pass was legalized, making it possible to gain 40 yards with one throw. During that first season, however, most teams stayed with the tried and true, sticking with the conventional wisdom provided by many years of playing the game.

One team took another approach. St. Louis University’s coaches adapted to and utilized this new option in the game and quickly switched to an offense that used the forward pass extensively. That first season they outscored their opponents 402-11.

Seek out ways you can bring new methods and innovation to what you do. Buy a totally different toothbrush.  Walk backward to your mailbox and back.  Call a cab to take you to work rather than driving.  Stop wearing a necktie.  Commit to learning one new word every day next month.  Write your spouse a love note every day and present them in a box on Thanksgiving Day.  Listen to a book on audio rather than reading it.  You get the idea.  Shaking things up purposely may uncover a new talent or opportunity.

Having just heard Julien Smith discuss The Flinch, one morning last week I turned the shower on full cold, took a deep breath, and stepped in.  It didn’t kill me – and it helped me face that experience of stepping through the initial fear response that may be keeping me from real opportunities.  I don’t want to miss anything.

What can you find in your life today that ain’t broke – how you gonna break it?

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