“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
You have likely heard the above quote, right? You’ve likely even said it before. Either to someone else or to yourself as a statement of caution or reprimand.
Sure, if you want success achieving your goals, a misalignment between your actions and expectations is crazy. But you know what else I think is as equally insane? Believing that fresh starts mean starting from scratch.
You and I have a habit of chasing “new.” Looking for help and assurance in brand new ideas, information, resources, and people.
Still seeking an answer to that never-ending question? Still searching for that seemingly elusive solution to the challenge and problem that follows you into each new year? Still straddling the fence waiting for something (or someone) better to come along? Then, look for the latest and the greatest. Look for what’s new. Right?
In some cases, that is precisely what you need to do. Because it is what will serve you best.
Then, there are those other times – times when I wonder if the “latest, greatest and new” is really the shiny object syndrome (SOS) in disguise. If you’re unfamiliar, SOS is when you are convinced that doing something new – instead of what you are already doing – is what holds the key to the breakthrough you want.
Betting on you
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned living as an entrepreneur is that sometimes the best answers and solutions lies in looking at what you’re already doing, but in a new way. In other words, double down on what you already have and know.
As you probably are aware, the phrase “double down” is derived from the card game blackjack. Although I have never played the game, I understand that when one does this they are taking a big risk in hopes of a big reward.
Ha! That should feel familiar. There’s a reason this gambling phrase has become a commonly used metaphor in life, business and politics. Because here’s the thing: Unless you play the game of life extremely small and safe, you actually double down with almost every single decision and choice you make. Daily!
But, I want you to do it with another viewpoint in mind.
Instead of seeking brand new information, brand new ideas, and brand new resources as you plan how you’re going to keep your resolutions and achieve your goals, ask yourself these three questions:
- Is there a new approach you can take?
- Is there a new way of thinking that you haven’t yet considered?
- Are there new choices you can make?
With these questions, the “different and new” comes not from starting from scratch. It comes from starting where you are, using what you have and doing it in a new and different way. (As example, last Fall, I made the strategic decision not to create a new service in 2017 but to make an adjustment to what and how I already do what I do.)
Distraction: A different kind of risk
Where in your life can you get the end result of creating something brand new by simply making some adjustments to the information and ideas you already have; the resources you already use; and the people already in your circle?
One of the reasons I’m harping on this idea of doubling down on what you already have and know is because chasing the latest, greatest and new is often a distraction.
We frequently talk about risk and reward through the lens of winning and losing. Rarely do we consider distraction as a risk factor.
Yet, you should. Because it is!
Constantly being on the look-out for new ideas, information, and resources can entice you to move on to the next thing – often prematurely. As a result, you mistake movement for progress. THIS is the quickest way to stifle your efforts to keep your resolutions and achieve your goals.
So, do yourself (and your resolutions and goals) a favor: double down and use something you already have and know to create something new and powerful — your best year yet!