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Just a little bit longer

Improving Systems and Habits

Scott Miker is the author of several books that describe how to use systems and habits to improve.  This free blog provides articles that to help understand the principles related to building systems.  

Just a little bit longer

Scott Miker

In today’s world, there is a lot of advice about change. Some people promote the idea that we are all constantly changing and that being malleable is the only way to succeed in life.

Certainly many of the startup tech businesses promote this concept. They were either successful early in the process or they pivoted until they found something that clicked. Then they maximized it.

I cringe when I hear someone on the extreme side of promoting change. Yes we have to be willing to adapt and adjust. Yes it is important we don’t spend all of our time on the wrong path. But change for the sake of change doesn’t work either.

Many problems that people face aren’t problems due to being off-track. Most of the time it is that we expect an immediate success story whenever we try something. In our head we see the grand vision and assume the most extreme level of success is sure to come.

When that doesn’t come, we start to get frustrated. We see stories of successful people reaching such incredible heights that we feel our measly success means nothing in comparison. The problem is that we tend to find the most successful example, in the most successful time, and then compare our first efforts to it.

We read a story about someone who lost 50 pounds from a new diet and assume we can lose those 50 pounds instantly by also following that diet.

We see a documentary on a successful business owner and assume we can start up a business with no experience and no capital and still find immediate riches.

We hear about an old friend who just won a prestigious award and get inspired to follow their steps.

But in all cases, we gloss over the hard work. We gloss over the long path that they took. We assume they found instant success when it was more likely they found little success early but developed the right process over time and eventually started to reach the level of success that gets other people’s attention.

So don’t get to caught-up in the idea of instant success. Instead, learn that pivoting and being malleable is great, so long as you do the hard work and don’t get too impatient along the way.

If you have worked the process enough to see the flaws, then make changes. But don’t make changes before you even have a chance to truly test your ideas. Give it time. If it fails, it will provide insight to improve if you took the idea past the idea phase. If you stop before you truly start, then you won’t be able to build enough to learn the important lessons required to be successful.

So if you recently started a new process to improve and reach a goal, don’t be afraid to keep going through obstacles and tough times. It might be that the value of what you are doing will come if you work just a little bit longer.