In the mid-90’s, I used to teach a seminar called “Thinking Outside the Box.” But that was way back when “thinking outside the box” really was a new way of thinking. It’s not so new now. In fact, it’s a cliché.
I realized that it’s really about thinking “inside” the box that really matters. What goes on inside your business and inside your mind that makes the difference.
In the seminar, I ask people to stand up and pair off with a partner. I ask them to study each other for 30 seconds and then turn their back on each other. Once they’ve done that, I’ll ask them to change three things about their appearance.
One time I did this and I had a guy whip off his shirt and unbuckle his belt. That was a little too much change even for me. But most of the time people really struggle to change even the smallest thing. Some people just stand there paralyzed. Others may change something so subtle nobody will ever be able to tell.
Then they turn back around and identify what their partner changed about their appearance. It’s then that an interesting thing happens. Most people can’t wait to change back to their original state. And if you try to stop them from changing back, they’ll fight you.
So… about that time I ask them to turn around again and change three more things. For most people, while they struggled before, it’s easier this time. They may have sweated the first three, but the second three are easier. And so are the next three I ask them to change and so on.
Outside of providing some cheap entertainment, there really is a point here. For most people, change is hard. Really hard.
But it gets easier if you practice it. Practice it often.
Because the real question you should be asking is this: If you don’t change the way you do things, how will you ever get any different results?
You get the results you deserve. If’s it working just the way you want, keep doing it! But if it ain’t working for you now, it ain’t gonna work in the future if you keep doing the same thing.
At this point you may be saying, but what I’ve done in the past is how I got to where I am today and that’s pretty darn good. Good point and great job! The question I’d ask you at this point is whether you’re comfortable staying exactly where you are right now. Because that’s where your past strategies will get you. And that only works if the world around stays exactly the same.
It starts with you making a commitment to change. And then sticking with it.