Throw Out the Box!

Yesterday, I had a phone conference with a new connection. This gentleman was looking for ways to better communicate and share ideas because things were just not working the way they used to. Someone told him to call the #CSIKraken. I guess that’s me.

Work or personal – when I talk to someone who is excited, motivated and looking to take it to the next level it reaffirms the  ‘Go Big or Go Home’ mission I have recently made the mantra for my life.

This conversation got me thinking about why we struggle to stop doing what we have always done. I see, over and over, people sticking with the old rather than exploring the new even when it no longer serves them.

Really, I think it boils down to just a few key facts:

  • We are afraid to fail.
  • Change is scary.
  • It is much easier to stay in a comfort zone.

But what really happens is that we fail anyway, change happens and we get forced out of that comfort zone.  Personally, I would rather choose my path to change than get blindsided by it. While not always easy or comfortable, I am not choosing to think outside the box, I am choosing to throw it away.

Maybe we need to rethink our approach to new ideas and ways of doing things. Maybe we need to turn it into a positive.

Failure:

Face it, nobody likes to fail. It sucks, it can be embarrassing and sometimes it hurts.

The bright spot is that we learn and grow when we fail. If you have half a brain, your failures will teach you what not to do next time. Your failure, after some tweaks, can turn into some of your greatest successes.

The best part is that sometimes you will not fail. You don’t know if you don’t try. You have to try.

Change:

Change is hard. It is easier to do what we already know and have learned. It is easier to do the same old things that have been planned and tested. It is easier to stay in a situation that does not serve you rather than start over with something that does. Is that really the best path?

Our world in general, especially with current technology, is evolving at the speed of light. Can we afford, even for a second, to languish and relax.  How long will it take for you to be left behind?  If you add in the huge numbers of baby boomers who are leaving the workforce and taking their experience with them, you will realize very fast that we can’t afford not to tap that experience before they go.  On the flip side, our younger professionals are moving up faster than ever before. They have been raised in a completely different world. Are you open minded enough to change to realize they also have a lot to teach you? Being in the middle of the two, I know I am.

On a personal level, you only have to ask yourself – Are you happy? Are you motivated? Are you looking forward to what tomorrow brings? Do you wake up in the morning and say ‘Damn, I am looking forward to this day!’  While every day is not all rainbows and blessings, if you can’t answer in the affirmative a majority of the time, you most likely have something you need to change.

One of my favorite quotes (yes, we all know I like quotes):

“Life is not a journey to the grave arriving in a well preserved, attractive body. One should show up late and skid in sideways, screaming, “Whoo Hoo”, what a ride!”

Fact is, as far as I know, we have one life to live. Personally, I don’t want to be in my rocking chair wishing I would have changed something I always knew deep down didn’t serve me.

Comfort Zone:

For me, this has been the most difficult area to change. It is safe in your comfort zone. There is no risk involved in staying where you are comfortable. It is so easy to put on those blinders and say ‘This is OK’ or ‘This is what is expected of me’.

That is unless that unexpected 2×4 comes and smacks you in the head and you have no choice. Job loss? Divorce? Unfulfiled? Bored? Disillusioned? Unhappy?

9 times out of 10, if your eyes are remotely open, you can see these things coming.  Wake up. Do something different. Try something you have never done before and see what happens.

Take it from me, this is not even close to easy but it is worth it. Things will change for the better and you may circumvent that looming 2×4 and end up on the path you desire.

Today, I am reaffirming my mission:

  • To throw away the box.
  • To knowing that everything will not be a success and being OK with that.
  • To keeping my mind open, always, to new and better ways of doing things.
  • To constantly reach out to new people who I can teach and who can teach me. People who will enrich my life.

But, most importantly,

  • To waking up every morning asking myself how I can make this the best damned day ever? What can I do different to assure that happens?

Why don’t you join me?

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