Daily Short-hOPT: The Way It’s Always Been

“All too often, on the long road up, young leaders become servants of what is rather than shapers of what might be.” – John Gardner

I went to a city council meeting last night. Aside from being pretty informational, I noticed something that I think is probably commonplace in government or any type of bureaucracy (though certainly not limited to those entities). When something was discussed or proposed, folks often took a “that’s the way it’s always been done” approach, or the defeatist “well, there’s nothing we can do about it” approach. The problem is, neither one of these approaches work. 

Taking the “that’s the way it’s always been done” angle stunts progress. It’s a cop out. It’s taking an easy way out. Can the tried and true methods serve a purpose? Absolutely. Some things stand the test of time because they’re relevant and they work. However, if you’re performing a task and can’t find a reasonable explanation for why you’re doing it, it may be worth some evaluation and reflection. We can always be better at what we do, but that takes continuous evolution. Sticking to the status quo for the sake of sticking to the status quo only cements stagnation. 

When you concede that “nothing can be done”, you’re painting yourself into a defeated corner. When met with “it can’t be done”, we should immediately be asking “why?” It’s not good enough to say that something is too difficult or the adversity is too strong. At that point, why even try? Just throw in the towel. Things aren’t going to get any better. Personally, I can’t stand being told no. It always makes me more determined to find a way to make something happen. When you allow for the possibility of defeat, you will be defeated. 

Things aren’t always easy. Change is difficult. However, if we desire to be the very best versions of ourselves, we have to remember that good enough is not always good. Sometimes we need to push beyond the norm and try something new. Often, that process starts with the question “why?” 

Have an awesome Wednesday,
-A. 

 

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