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25 Feb, 2016


But this is how we've always done it."

Even though it’s not as successful as we want it to be, at least we know how to do it and it brings some rewards and benefits.

We often say and do things that are not aligned to what we want or need. Often our concentration is centred on the process or behaviour and not the outcome. Essentially we are creatures of comfort and familiarity. We like to feel comfortable and familiar with what we are doing. Recent scientific research found that ‘Mastery’ is one of the top three personal motivational drivers in the workplace and in our personal lives. This is why we spend time rehearsing a hobby or pastime such as playing an instrument, knitting, computer gaming, golf etc. We may never earn a living from these activities, but we like to be better to satisfy our happiness needs.

There are countless examples of where people have a goal in mind and essentially a real desire to achieve or at least get nearer to that goal, but their behaviour doesn’t help them meet that need. One classic example is when an individual wants to get in better physical condition. They consider attending a gym or health club would be a vehicle for them to achieve their goal. However when asked about a start point they say

“I can’t go to the gym yet I’m too fat. When I’ve lost a bit of weight I’ll start”

There are rooted beliefs about attending a gym or participating in physical activity that inhibit the movement towards achieving their need (goal).

This is synonymous with most cases where change may be required. Organisations that have a desire to gain more business, or need to improve efficiency, but are resistant to doIng anything different. They’re not always sure what the alternative is and maybe there is a lack of confidence the new way will bring everything they need and so they tend to procrastinate about making a decision and often avoid the change altogether.

Only when the stage of intolerance is reached do we feel motivated enough to take the risk in trying something different. This can often be in sheer desperation and a last ditched attempt to recover.

Sadly there are examples where this is too late, notably the BP oil disaster, Social services assessments of children at risk, climate change, marriage breakdown etc. This is where hindsight becomes frustratingly powerful.

What if ?......
What if we could consider hindsight lessons as foresight and predict the future from a positive and objective perspective ?
Q1. If we continue with ‘X’ what might/will happen ? What will be the performance, outcomes, results and consequences ?

Einstein defined insanity as “Doing something time and time again and expecting a different outcome”

Q2. What if we decided to go with a change ? What might/will be the performances, outcomes, results and consequences ?

Vince Lombardi one of the all time great American Football coaches said “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will”

Q3. Does my/our behaviour help meet my/our need over time ?

These three simple questions cover a multitude of situations and decisions including : Career change, promotion, business direction, relationships, parenting, health and wellbeing, efficiency, marketing, selling, managing, leadership, hobbies and sports, personal development and growth, moving house, buying a car.......

The main area for consideration is what are you doing to embrace change in your world. If you have similar doubts to those mentioned earlier, what are you doing to address them ? Whilst there is a perfectly good argument for the old adage ‘If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ but is there a difference between not being broken and working better ?

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