What if I told you that ten years from now, your life will be exactly the same?
Would you be happy? I doubt it. Who wants to be in the exact same place, exact same circumstances for that long? I would venture to say that not too many people would be happy if everything remained exactly the same for ten years.
Yet, there are so many people who fear change so much that they challenge the very nature of the universe–that everything is in motion. Their avoidance of fear and change is so deeply ingrained that they hold tight to habits, principles, people– insert whatever you like here–regardless of whether those things continue to serve them or not. I remember a story I heard sometime ago and have heard variations of it many times since. A woman who prepared ham every holiday would purchase a whole ham and cut each side of the ham off and then bake it never really thinking too much about the process. Until one year, her daughter–eager to learn how to prepare the holiday ham–asked her mother, “Mom, why do you cut the sides off of the ham?”
The Mom shrugged and replied to her daughter, “Because honey, that's how Grandma always made the ham and hers was the most delicious!”
Later, at the dinner table, the daughter asked her Grandma, “Grandma, why do you always cut the ends off of the ham when you used to make it?” The Grandma replied that her mother had ALWAYS cut the sides off of the ham and her ham was always delicious, so she repeated the process. At that time, Great-Grandma began to chuckle at the end of the table.
All three women turned to Great-Grandma and said, ” What's so funny Great-Grandma?”
She replied, “I cut the sides off of the ham because I didn't have a pan large enough to bake the entire ham!”
So much of what we do in our life is done without much thought or sometimes, even knowledge of how the habit began. I challenge you to change this pattern. I challenge you to begin to really focus on what you choose in your life and in your business. Are you repeating behaviors that you really don't even understand? Are there behaviors or habits you could eliminate or those you can switch to something more valuable or productive?
I am not suggesting you change everything. Changing too much, too soon can lead to failure. For this week, consider each area of your life: personal; professional; and spiritual. Think about one area for one week and consider just one behavior that is not producing what you would like. Write down what you want to change and create a written plan of how you will change it and what your time frame. Put that paper where you can see it and read it every day. The following week, choose the next area.
Here's a quick, simple example. We'll look at professional for this example. You subscribe to trade journals. Every month, you see it arrive and you arrange it on your credenza and challenge yourself that this month, you will read it. Before you know it, the month has passed and the next issue arrives and you place it on top of the other one, pledging once again to read it. Get out a piece of paper and write down which journals are most important for you to read. Write down a day and date you will complete this task. Schedule time on your calendar to read the journal as a meeting.
Before you know it, you will have made a few changes that serve your life. Small successes contribute to larger successes. The next thing is to create this process as a new habit that you repeat throughout the year and years. It's the best way to be sure, that in 10 years, and throughout your life, you will not only be the same, but notably better!
Building a better business, one change at a time.