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If it Doesn't Work Fix It!!

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PostPosted: Dec Sun 17, 2006 2:08 pm    Post subject: If it Doesn't Work Fix It!! Reply with quote

If it Doesn't Work Fix It!!

If At First You Don't Succeed, Give Up! (And try another way!)

Someone has said that a definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different outcome. Unfortunately, by that definition, many of us are in trouble! Human beings are given to doing the same things, in the same way, over and over. And if they don't work, we either blame "bad luck", or we just try harder! We've all done this, and I don't think it means we're all insane! But, it does mean that we are creatures of habit. We fall into ruts and patterns and traditions. We have familiar, comfortable ways of doing things, and we tend to stick to them. Even when they don't work. For better or worse, this is part of the human experience. And, it's a good thing when it simplifies our lives. Without habits and traditions, life quickly becomes unmanageable! Imagine if you actually had to figure out the best way to get to work every day! But, when our traditions create frustration and failure, and we don't change them, we set ourselves up for tremendous pain in life. I recently spoke with a good friend about his son's habit of lying. It's not just that lying is immoral, it's inefficient! It creates distrust, frustration, confusion, heartache, and isolation. It's not an effective way of building relationships or solving problems. It doesn't work. And yet, so far at least, his son keeps on lying. Many of us are like that boy, at least in some areas of our lives. For years, I invested in stocks based on good research and careful consideration, and the stock would usually go up, at least for a while. But, my pattern was to pretty much ignore my investments, and in the end, I often lost money. I rationalized that I was picking great stocks, and this "shouldn't" be happening, but that didn't change the results. It wasn't until I saw the pattern and found a better way of monitoring my investments, that my results began to improve. We often see this in ambitious, talented people who never quite fulfill their potential. They want success and they are willing to do what it takes! But, something holds them back, and often it's this pattern of doing things that simply don't work, over and over again. There is a law that every action creates a result. When you take action, you get an outcome, or a result from your efforts. If it's the result you intended, great! But, if your efforts are not creating the results you want, the key is rarely to try harder, or to do it again. We call that stubbornness! Successful people learn very quickly. They experiment. And, they are totally honest about the results they are getting in life. If their results are taking them closer to their long-term goals, they work harder and do more. But, if their efforts are not creating the results they intended, they quickly try something else. They hire a consultant or a coach, they get more training, or they try another way.

There's a quote from W. C. Fields: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then give up. There's no use being a fool about it." There is tremendous wisdom in that! If you are not succeeding at something that is important to you, try another way, redefine your goal, or choose a different path. In my years on earth, I've learned this much, at least: If you're beating your head against a brick wall, STOP! Just stopping will feel like progress compared to the pain of repeated blows to the head. And, once you've stopped, you can look around, check out alternatives, ask for advice, get help, or simply walk in another direction. Watch for the patterns that don't work, the habits that create pain or frustration in your life, and when you spot them, fix them! Doing things that don't work, but expecting a magical solution, is a road to frustration, heartache and failure. Do what works! Highly successful people find solutions.

Written & Published by Philip E. Humbert, PhD
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