Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Time for a New Approach?

When things aren't working the same old way any longer, what do you do? Do you keep slamming into the same wall? What good is that doing you? The key is in the awareness. It's about seeing the fact that you are hitting the wall. Then it's time to strategize, find a new approach and go in a different direction.

Have you even watched the TV show Amazing Race? It's about teams that travel all over the world in a race to see who will be the first to finish for a million dollars. I love this show because it's an opportunity to see parts of the world from my living room. But, it's also an interesting study in behavior. It's fascinating to watch these teams of people work together under duress, fatigue and a constant time pressure. While you feel for them in their experiences, you also watch how the team members think. Many are open, flexible and always on the lookout for a new strategy, a new approach. These are the teams that accel in the race. They go with the flow and are open to new experiences.

The teams that are narrow minded and extremely structure oriented have the tendency to function under greater stress. They continue to use the same approach time and time again, not realizing if that approach or strategy didn't work once, it may not work the next time, or the time after that, and yet they continue. Unfortunately, these are the teams that generally end up leaving the race early on because it takes so many tries to accomplish their tasks that it causes their delay.

Ultimately, their approach led to their teams defeat in the race. They were not approaching the race with the ability to change their approach on the fly, so to speak. The teams who were open to improvising and constantly changing their approach by making small course corrections, were the leaders of the pack more often than not.

As I think about these teams, I look at my life and see times when I could have changed my approach and had a very different outcome. Being more conscious to it now, I try to catch myself in the midst of these opportunities, choosing instead to be flexible and try things a new way. There are still areas that I could improve upon, most certainly. However, I am finding that if I choose to stay in the same pattern, or rut, then my life will reflect that rut back to me. When I choose to approach it differently, making course corrections, and choosing new ways of doing things, my life reflects that back to me tenfold. The reflection is the reward of showing me I am on the right track.

My next approach to change is to redesign my office. It's the place where I get in the groove, and everything ends up staying the same. It's time for a new approach! I've been in the process of makeovers- it's the office next! I'll keep you posted...

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