Why we choose the path of least resistance?
The psychologist Tom Ward points out that when we think about anything, we follow the path of least resistance. Without realizing it, we instantly and automatically categorize every situation we see based on our previous experience. So, despite our best efforts to do something bold and new, our memory drives us back to things tried and true. Our efforts at creativity are thwarted before they get on track.
In my book, The Prosperous Leader, I refer to this as the reason why many people and organizations tend to follow the same path over and over even though its not getting them any closer to their goals.
Albert Einstein famously said “that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results”.
So how do you change direction?
The answer is, first of all, awareness. Be aware of the pattern and the lack of getting closer to your goals.
Then you need to define your goals! Most people, as Covey says, live a life of default not design.
Ask yourself, what is it I want to accomplish, how and by when?
According to a Harvard study those people that had (written) goals and a timeframe were much more inclined to reach their goals.
The hard part is to figure out why am I not reaching my goals. What are the limited beliefs and roadblocks that need to be either blown apart or jumped over in order to achieve them.
Most people will need an accountability partner (aka coach) to help them identify their goals, identify the limiting beliefs and hold them accountable for the results.
As Edward Deming said “Inspect what you expect”. Or what you inspect gets respect!
Looking for a coach, I know some really great ones.
Give me a call.
(The Prosperous leader blog)