Better every day can be subverted by being different every day.
I love racquetball – it’s a dynamic, fast-paced sport with more angles than a shady politician. So needless to say, like many midlife guys, I’m passionate about wanting to improve my play. So after another defeat by my racquetball partner, I took inventory of our games and I noticed every time we play, I’m trying something new; new shots, angles, positions and of course new variations in trash talk – none of which were working as I was still losing, and my game was improving at a snail’s pace. By taking inventory of my game, I was able to identify the shots that worked and the ones that didn’t. The ironic thing was that none of my experimental shots made it to the “shots that worked” list. So I began to refine the 5 shots that were winners. I closed down the laboratory of shot making and began to refine the 5 key shots of my game. Not only did my shots improve, I had more physical and mental energy to contend with the occasional surprises. I was calmer on the court, more clear thinking and began to win more often. There is something to be said for working on the winners by making way to do those things that are proven and eliminating those things that aren’t. So I looked at my career in the same light and found the same “disease.” I was doing a lot of experimentation and getting poor results. After a bit of scrutiny, I realized there are 4-5 things I do really well. In fact, I’m deadly in these areas and at the top of my game. They give me energy, produce results, and I love doing them. So why chase after alternatives to success? Perhaps the repetitiveness got to me a bit, but when I realized I could bring a new vision of refinement to what was already working, life instantly started working better.
Close down the laboratory of uncertainty today. Work on your winners.
Do I value the adrenaline rush of experimentation over tried and true results?
What are my sweet spots, the areas where my value screams progress?