When asked why she wasn’t updating her books, a “business writing expert” said there was no need to do so because email hasn’t changed since folks started using email. Which got me thinking. What planet is she living on?
Of course email has changed. Social media has hugely impacted the way people read, expectations and also, the way people write. But that isn’t what this post is about.
It’s about how easy it is to justify the way we do things in the name of … whatever. Robert Sternberg, former Dean at Tufts University, calls this the “cost of competence” and says that when we get really good, or very comfortable doing something one one, we can become protective of our way of doing things. Malcolm Gladwell refers to this as being “mind-blind” and refers to doing things without thinking, but just because we’ve always done it that way, as a mild and momentary form of autism. Inc magazine, a few years ago, called it the “curse of knowlege” and said, “When people get very good at doing things a certain way, they become surprisingly inept at learning new skills when changing conditions demand it.” Whatever term you prefer, whatever explanation talks to you, to me, the bottom line is this:
Everything changes and if we don’t, we rot.
Everything changes and if we close our eyes and put our heads in the sand, pretending that the best way is the way we’re most comfortable doing it, it may be time to open your mind and heart to new ideas, new solutions, new ways of doing things.
Stop sabotaging your success by relying on yesterday’s ways. Look for a second right answer. Or a third.
Today (yes now is good), pick one thing to consider doing differently… start with something you know there is a second right answer for, something that you’ve thought to yourself… there has to be a better way... and start there. Ask yourself: If I didn’t act/do/say/write it this way, how else could I do it? If there were no budget limitations, sky’s the limit, all resources in place, how else would I handle this? Okay. See. There are other ways. Now, come back to reality. How can you do it within budget, with limited resources, within your particular circumstances?
As my friend, award winning National Geographic photographer and speaker extraordinaire, DeWitt Jones, says, “There is always a second right answer.” Start looking to stop sabotaging yourself today.
Do you agree? What second right answers have worked for you? What did you try and then go back to the “old” way because it truly worked best? And, do you agree that email hasn’t changed? Talk to me!