What does a fly have to do with my success?
We have all witnessed the fly buzzing against the window, trying its hardest to get through that pane of glass—most windows are now dual panes.
The fly tries so hard. It buzzes furiously, throwing its body against that window with all the might of its tiny lace-paper wings, but to no avail. We all know that fly—no matter how hard it tries—does not have the strength to make it through that window. The saddest thing is that if it would just try a different approach—fly one foot or ten sideways, it would escape effortlessly out the open window or door. But it doesn’t. It just keeps trying the same approach, over and over, to get through the window, using the same old strategy.
What if we are like this fly in trying to achieve our goals and dreams? We are using a strategy that no matter how hard we try will not get us where we want to go. How many times have we told ourselves that we “just need to try harder”?
I can remember these words spoken to me by one of my kids’ teachers. She looked at me and said with such certainty, “She just needs to try harder to read.”
Later my kid was diagnosed with dyslexia. No matter how hard she tried, she wasn’t going to learn to read the conventional way. She needed another approach, which we finally found outside the school district. Kids who are dyslexic can learn to read, but it requires another approach. Once this approach was implemented, she went from first-grade reading to twelfth grade in 10 months with just two hours of tutoring a week.
She made a quantum leap in her reading skills. The important part is that it was with less effort and struggle than the conventional approach.
Why does this story matter to you?
We all have the potential to make an exponential improvement in our effectiveness, performance, and success by implementing new approaches and going against common practices. Here are a few strategies you can try out for your own quantum leap.
Quit Trying Harder
The study of quantum mechanics shows that particles can move from one place to another without apparent effort. They literally jump and skip steps in between. This is how matter operates, and we are matter. We have the potential to do the same. The “trying harder” strategy isn’t helpful, especially if you have been trying harder and haven’t had the results that you would love to achieve.
Change Your Personal Rules for Success
Most of us have been raised with this mindset or “rule” of “just try harder” or “success is incremental” and occurs one step at a time—a gradual process. Quantum mechanics shows this isn’t the case. Particles can “jump” with little effort to a whole different level. What if this is the same for your potential? What are your rules for success? Write them out and think about changing them to ones that will take advantage of a quantum leap.
“Quantum leaps cannot be achieved through incremental steps or through ‘more of the same’ .”
—Price Pritchett, PhD
Ignore Conventional Approaches
It makes sense that if you do the same thing, you are going to get the same results. This principle seems so simple, yet we humans love our habits and love to follow what others are doing. We have what is called “faith in the familiar.” However, if you want to make a quantum leap, you also need to do things differently. You need to shake it up and ignore conventional approaches, to try something new. Even better, try an approach that is easier. Think of that fly—freedom just a few feet away and it was so much easier and effective than killing yourself trying to go through the window.
Tim Ferriss is an excellent example of someone who ignored conventional approaches. At his first job he saw that salespeople made calls between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. He had a hard time getting through to the decision maker. He asked himself, “What could I do differently?” He changed the times he made sales calls to 7-8:30 a.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. That shift had him reach his goal of talking to the decision maker.
Where are you following a conventional approach that isn’t yielding a return or getting a result that you would love? What could you do differently?
Ask yourself, “What if it can be easy?”
“It doesn’t matter how well you can do something if it’s the wrong thing to do.”
–Price Pritchett, PhD
Here is to you living the best version of yourself