Habits and routines can keep us in a place where our view of the world is not any longer vibrant or even accurate. Let me give you an example:
I have a client that had a hard time seeing and hearing another’s perspective on a project. The lack of perspective turned the project into a problem and the relationship into an argument.
Now I say lack of perspective, but you can’t shift and change unless you can see that it might have some value to do just that. Your opinion and habits have served you well for a long time, right? Nope, not if you are creating situations with a project partner because your opinion has become entrenched and your opinion is more important than coming to a solution.
When we can’t change or shift, it is hard enough on us and others. But when we won’t change, you limit your life drastically. Your ego keeps your perspective limited; listening does not happen; new ideas cannot get in; others’ brilliance and partnership does not exist to contribute to the solution/situation.
You can tell if you “won’t”:
- You are easily annoyed
- Your view is the only view
- Stress is your normal state of feeling
- Everything is hard
- Life has it out for you
Won’t is the worst place to be when you want a good life that is professional and personally balanced, prosperous and filled with joy.
Can’t means you don’t know something yet. Can’t is a place where the information you need has not come to you and your view is narrow. Can’t can be fixed easily.
And that is where perspective comes in. When you won’t do something, you are annoying. When you can’t do something, education and learning are immediately
available to you.
When you meet with your staff, sit in a different seat. When you come home at night to your partner or family, greet them differently. If your morning break is at 10:30 change it to 10:45 and eat/drink something totally new for you. If your boss does not stay on topic during your one on ones, provide an agenda that will help both of you.
Shift your perspective one little step at a time. The ease of learning will happen and you will find how entrenched you are in your habits that have worked, but maybe now need a new shine to them.
My personal example: One of my staff and I are working on a new keynote for an association conference where I will be speaking to 1,500 executives. This is just the kind of keynote I love and the excitement and learning is palpable for me. As a challenge to meet the idea of “something really new” for the audience, we decided to NOT use any of my normal language – however compelling and interesting – and to find a new way of saying and expressing the immediately usable content I always want to bring to my valued audiences. IT WAS HARD. However, it leaped me into a different perspective; fresh innovative language and a joy/challenge for this topic that I had not felt for a bit of time.
Change is only hard if you resist it. Imagine change as a brand new car you have wanted forever and just got to pay cash for it…learning a new car is a huge change – one you created for yourself. Brand new, shining, technology enhanced, gorgeous car that you want to learn to operate as easily as your old car. Yup, that is change.
Embrace it. It is going to happen anyway, might as well be that it is your choice rather than running into the hills screaming noooooooooo.
To your success,
P.S. One of the best books ever written on change and shifting perspective is Marshal Goldsmith’s “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There”. It has become a classic for new and mature leaders and anyone taking a good look at how they are operating in this professional and personal lives. Marshall is a gentleman and wildly wise. I have read it several times and recommend his book to every client I have. You can find it on our Best Reads list. Get a copy to read and copies to share.