We mistake busyness for doing something new and different. Then we get frustrated when we start to get bored finding ourselves on repeat. We are not great at letting go of our old selves.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma once said:
“That the biggest barrier to originality is refusing to let go of our old identities. Clinging to who we’ve been in the past prevents us from trying out new melodies.”
We need to learn better behaviors at being explorers and challenging everything. Not challenging for sake of challenging. Instead, challenge to test your identity and potential. Innovation can be taking something you’ve always been doing and finding a way to do it better.
Zoom out and look at it through some different lenses.
“Sometimes is not about what we did or didn’t do, it’s about what we are going through.” – Big Sean
What currently are we going through that makes it not feel so great? Maybe we lost what it meant to experiment. Try lots of quick experiments. What did you learn about the tests? Let your passion evolve from the tests. Did you know Post-It Notes was discovered from a failed glue experiment? Tests have shown that 80% of innovations occur in the wrong place and were unintentionally discovered.
Find a thought partner. Find someone that will tell you what your NEED to hear, not what you WANT to hear. You will need someone that is a experimenter like you with a proven track record of reinventing things. It wouldn’t hurt that they be an expert in the same thing you’re trying to bring back to life.
Lastly, get away from yourself. Trying to get out of your own head and self limitations on your own is tough. You will get in the way of your own growth potential and change. You need to buffer yourself with a thought partner. You won’t get to anything new faster by trying to do it on your own. At least not as quickly as you would with someone that challenges your ideas. Discipline yourself in letting that thought partner take your challenges through their vetting processes.
Then the cycle of reviving something that’s old and crusty begins again. Zoom out and get the perspective. Take yourself through a series of questions that challenges the current status. What was it about the experience that you could have achieved in a different way? How do you ensure that you leverage this passion as often as you can? What would you lose if it didn’t exist at all as a passion or strength? How could you become a thought partner for that struggling individual that is having the same roadblocks you were?
You may feel like your going nowhere with your current passion or study. The reality may be you’ve been expecting something new and exciting. Instead you can take what’s been tried and true, make it different, and reignite your excitement around it.
To recap identify your cycle you are stuck in before it puts you into a rut. Get outside of yourself by adopting a great thought partner that will challenge you to zoom out often or gain a different perspective. Lastly, plan some reflection time and be prepared for what it tells you.
I’ll leave you with this thought:
”There are two ways of meeting difficulties: You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself to meet them.” – Phyllis Bottome
Something to think about.