December 12

To be different…

There’s an old saying (also an NLP presupposition, see Seymour & O’Connor) that goes along the lines of “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got” – sometimes expressed as “the definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing and expect to get something different”.

How often we see that playing out every day. “Ahh, nothing ever changes around here”. But what have you done to try and change things around there?

A quick story if I may.

I once worked alongside someone for whom the glass was perpetually empty. Not half-empty, but fully e m p t y. It got to me, and I am sure others.

At the start of each day, we’d be cheerful enough, but by the end of it, we might as well have been in a monsoon it was so miserable. One day, I asked myself a simple question. “What’s my part in that downward spiral?”

Seems simple enough, doesnt it? But asking it made me realise that as I walked in past their desk every day, I’d drop in a little titbit of bad news that, on reflection, was like dropping a hand-grenade. The recipient would feed on it and it would fester, attracting 101 other negative thoughts, until they had no alternative but to start leaking out.

So I changed the route to my desk. No more hand grenades. Big improvement.

Either way, what’s true is that for anything to change, you have to first make a change.

That might be in what you think, in what you say, or just in what you do – most likely a blend of all three – but in the same way that a 100metre long ocean-going cargo ship can turn around by moving a A4-sized ‘trim tab’, making even a tiny change can make a difference.

Three problems though: if that trim tab is moved and then returned to it’s original starting position too soon, nothing much is going to change.

Secondly: there has to be the will to keep it in the new position for long enough.

Third: Long enough has to be measured as the turn progresses.


Firstly, what’s your part in the challenges that you face? (and you do play a part, I assure you, because we’re all part of the systems we’re in – more some other time).

Secondly, what are you going to do differently ??

Finally, how are you going to notice the difference?

Remember: if you keep on doing what you’ve always done…

That's all for today. If you've questions or comments, drop me a line below or get in touch.

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