You've probably heard the old saying that expecting a different result even though you’re doing the same thing is the definition of insanity and I can’t agree with it more. If you’re doing the same thing day in, day out and not getting the result that you’re after and not getting a different result, then there’s no surprise. That’s what you should expect. So I want to give you an idea… I'm going to share a little story with you.
Why it is that you need to think differently to what you’re thinking now if you’re going to expect the world all-around you to change. Imagine for a moment that you’ve got a child... And imagine your child’s going to year four in primary school. They get to the end of their first year of year four, and they come home and they go, “Mum, Dad, got some bad news. I’ve got to repeat.” Now you’d be disappointed, right? Most people would. Most parents would be a little bit disappointed if in school, if you don’t get to graduate from year four to year five, then there must be something wrong with you. But, you know what, you’re a good parent. You’re going to be supportive, and you say to your child, “You know what? Just give it a good red hot go this year and see how you go.” So they get to the end of their second year in year four, come home, same thing happens. “Mum, Dad, got some bad news. I need to repeat year four.” I mean now at this point you’re probably getting some DNA testing or something done, you’re probably convinced this kid is not yours. But any-ways, you’re going to support them. Off you send them again to school to their third year of year four hoping that they'll do better. But they get to the end of this third year of year four, and same thing happens. They come home, “Mum, Dad, I got some bad news. I have to repeat again.” In fact they do this so many years running, they’re driving themselves to school.
Now you may be laughing at that scenario, but let me ask you this. Have you repeated the last year over and over and over again? It’s frightening how many people I meet that once they’re in their own business or at odds that just repeat the same year, year after year after year. In fact, I could photocopy this year and spread it out in front of you for the next ten years, and that may be your life. Now the good thing about school, school gives us this accountability to graduate, and if we don’t graduate, there’s something wrong. That’s why they number each year, so if you’re in year eight the logical thing is to graduate to year nine. And how do you graduate? Well you graduate by learning a whole bunch of stuff.
So it’s this knowledge building process that goes all the way through until the end of your schooling. And what happens unfortunately, is when we leave school, there’s no accountability for that anymore. As an adult there’s no accountability for you to graduate each year. Sure, prices keep going up and fuel gets more expensive, cars and houses, and that sort of means you’re going to have to graduate on some level, but what about your knowledge? Who’s holding you accountable to growing your knowledge each year?
Well the reality is you have to do it. If you’ve made it okay not to graduate, then you need to take ownership for that. You need to make the decision that now is the time to start investing in yourself and one of my favourite all time entrepreneurs and speakers was a fellow called Jim Rowan. Jim would say, “work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” I really believe that that’s what this is all about, is how do you make sure you graduate each year? What courses are you going to? What books are you reading? What people are you mingling with? Do you have a business coach or a mentor working with you to transfer some of their knowledge to you to make you better at what you do?
If you’re not graduating, then all the people around you that are going it are going to win the race. If you’re making it okay to stay the same every year, well don’t expect a change. You’re creating your own situation. You’re getting everything that you deserve and decided to have. You know, if you’re not deciding to change, then nothing around you is going to change. It is that simple.
So don’t be the fourth grader that repeats that year for many, many years running. Be the one that graduates and graduates faster than everybody else, and you’ll start to see some success.
About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.