When you think about some of the best work of your life, the most exciting, the work that makes you light up from ear to ear what did it take? It didn’t just happen, you had to make it happen. You had to challenge the rules to get there.
Most advances in our world have come from someone challenging the status quo. Someone who was willing to think different and believe differently. Steve Jobs. Elon Musk. Thomas Edison. Ford. JFK. Bezos. They all challenged themselves by taking unconventional approaches to a goal or focus they were working on.
Think about it: almost every advance in art, medicine, agriculture, engineering, marketing, communications, computing, education, politics and design has occurred when someone challenged the rules and tried another approach. So if it’s that simple, what keeps us all from doing it more frequently and often?
I think this quote from Pablo Picasso (another great challenger of conventional thought) brings the “why” to light:
Every act of creating is first of all an act of destruction.
Take a minute to think about that. Are you willing to destroy things to create things? No? But, that’s what it takes. I have experienced and believe in that statement. In every instance where I have felt exhilarated by what I have created, in every instance I came up with a great strategy that was successful, I’ve had to destroy and let go of a previous habit or way to transition. I had to destroy to create.
That is not something as human beings we are comfortable with doing. Our first instinct is to not destroy, it’s to preserve. It’s to stay comfortable. Often times we cannot even realize we are stuck in a complacent mindset. Here’s a simple couple of questions to get you started:
What are two rules you can challenge in how you think about your issues or goals today?
Which ones can you temporarily suspend?
The best work of your life is not easy, obviously. That’s why it’s the best work and why it’s so challenging. Take some time and really think about what you’ll have to destroy and if it’s worth it. If you’re not ready, that’s okay. Don’t be super hard on yourself, that will make the next step harder. You have the potential, everyone does. Go create something no one has ever seen before!