Rodney looked at the other side of the stream. It wasn’t that far but it wasn’t that near either. Was he strong enough to jump across? Would he have to wade across? He spotted some rocks just downstream that possibly could act as a bridge. Are the rocks stable enough to be used as steps? He barked and was pacing up and down for a moment, considering his options. Finally, he positioned himself closest to the rocks and placed a foot on the first rock. It held! Hoorah! Tentatively, he placed his other foot on the second and it also held. Confidently, he continued stepping on the rocks, balancing himself precariously.
Without a warning, two rocks gave way and his front and back foot slipped into the stream. With that, Rodney fell ungracefully into the stream, splashing in shock. He stood up, gathering his lanky legs like a fawn learning to stand, and stumbled swam the remaining of the stream onto the other side. When he got up the bank, he shook the water off his body and leaped joyfully into the air. He made it! Rodney was focused on the results he wanted. How he got there was almost irrelevant.
It is easy to forget why you are doing what you are doing as you are too caught up in the procedure, method, or protocol. Have you ever been stuck in protocol and forgotten why you are doing something in the first place? Or have you done something so often that it has become a habit that sometimes the results are not necessarily what you desire (you may have even forgotten what the results are!)?
This is not an uncommon phenomenon because of the way our minds are wired. We tend to like patterns and instructions. The mind’s natural route is to look for the easiest way to solve problems. (Not many will like to put in more effort than needed) When your mind has found it, your mind will remember it and when the same problem occurs, you will search through your database to find the remembered method and apply that. When you do it often enough, it becomes a habit. So fundamentally, habits are nothing more than proven solutions (to yourself) to problems. Once you have developed a habit, sometimes, it is easy to forget why you develop that in the first place or what problem you were trying to solve initially.
Great habits that empower you lead to great results. However, habits that do not empower you are just simply motions/actions that may not serve you or even be destructive. This could happen at your workplace where you are so busy following protocol that when the protocol does not work due to unforeseen circumstances, you get stuck instead of remembering the end result you wanted. For example, if you are trying to contact a client but the mobile number they provided was not working, it may be time to try any other contact number or use the email instead of giving up. Maybe in your relationship, you are busy trying to ‘be yourself’ and fail to appreciate the other party resulting in an argument. When all both parties really want is a relationship, someone to spend the best years of your life (which is every year!) with. ‘Seek first to understand before being understood’ comes to mind. When spending time with your loved ones, it is easy to get caught up in the trivialities of life and allow that to ‘ruin your day’ when what you are craving for is a great experience and building fond memories with them. That is still completely achievable if you can adjust your expectations and attitude.
It is a bit harder to think flexibly due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, your mind will not be stimulated to think if it feels the solution has been found. Next, many people resist being flexible in their thinking and they may feel changing their thinking is somehow changing how they act, or their personality. We will always act consistently on how we see ourselves. If you are very certain of yourself and feel you know yourself well, it can be hard trying to change your thoughts and actions as you may feel that is ‘not you’.
However, in life, we should always question our methods and protocols. It is not to be uncertain of ourselves and our methods but to make sure that our ideology and protocols (habits) still serve us. After all, the same methods, protocols, and habits are solutions developed in the first place to solve certain problems. As problems evolve, so must our solutions. If not, we will get stuck in a rut, behaving in a manner that does not empower us. To achieve what you want in life, be it in business, love, or relationships, you need to be clear about what results you are striving for and focus on the results, not the methods. Be rigid in your goals and flexible in your approach. Remember also that what got you here will not get you there.
Learn how to empty your cup and be receptive to the universe as you are solving your problems. Accept that there might be a better way of doing things that will allow you to succeed more effectively and possibly, yielding better results. You do not know what you do not know. Be flexible in your personality, understanding that being flexible does not mean that you are ‘changing’ and ‘inconsistent’, but simply being more effective and evolving as nature intended. Do not resist that change. You are naturally growing.
You can ask yourself this question, “What are the results that I want (or is required)?” before even starting to tackle the task. Be sure to check that your protocol, method, or habit to solve this problem is still relevant and effective to perform the task. Another time to ask the same question would be when you meet an obstacle when solving the problem. By doing so, it allows you to re-examine your preconceived ideology and assumptions. When you free your mind and pretend as though you are seeing the problem for the first time and search into all available resources (instead of falling back on the method you were familiar with), you may be able to find an alternate solution. At this point, you can even ask someone else for help (keeping your ego in check) and it is amazing how they may provide a solution that you may not have even thought of as you have hit your blind spot!
When you start applying this philosophy of ‘Focusing on results’ (not past methods, ideology, or protocols) to your life, you will find that you may achieve what you want faster, better, and feel better doing so for you are truly growing with each alternate method you applied.
Rodney did not care whether he jumped, swam, or stepped across the stream as long as he got there. Do you get stuck in your ideology sometimes hindering you from your goals?
‘Play the picture in your mind – Focus on the end Result.’ – Rhonda Byrne