One of the hardest things on earth to do is change. To intentionally take action to throw off our own equilibrium with the goal of a better outcome on the other side. And aside from some earth shattering life changing experience or disruptive innovation if we’re not forced to change we will rarely take action without dragging our feet and resisting.
As someone in my 20’s my life changes consistently and quickly, and in this time of transition I hold tight to many comforts of the predictable, routine-like work that I am confident producing. I have ideas but am still lacking in the experience category. So naturally anything that I have experience in and or done before is my first solution to any problem, I think to myself “this won me the last war, so why wont it work again? ” But with the speed that the world is changing I’m realizing more and more that the same old solutions are not good enough. I see the decreasing marginal benefit each time that utilize the same old technique or idea, but the act of changing and innovating is the hard part.
Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” We have to learn, unlearn and then relearn and evolve everything we do in an effort to be better. Still this is easier said than done because once we have invested the time in learning something and created our worldview based on those ideas even a small shift is hard to make.
I grapple with this problem on a daily basis as I work to maintain a handle over the ever changing and evolving world of digital media and marketing. I was so skeptical of platforms like Instagram when they were first released. I thought it was a fad and didn’t understand the power of strictly visual content. Now we all know what direction the world is moving in now with Instagram being one of the more predominant social networks and really an innovator in the space of visual storytelling. Still it took me months to really open up to the point that I started to truly understand it, I ignored it and disregarded it as a fad/stupid way of communicating. I’m happy to say once the flood gates opened they opened in a big way as I now consider Instagram one of the most appealing and authentic social networks, but that first step forward was hard for me to take.
Steve Jobs summed this up perfectly when he said ” if you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will do it for you.” If we can move past our own love for the solution and fall in love with the problem we will be better equipped to embrace the radical change that may be needed. The way we can embrace that problem as our blank canvas is what may separate truly successful individuals in our increasingly competitive world.
Floating idly along and not actively looking for more creative solutions to the world around us will push us farther and farther towards obscurity. Owning the change that is happening and staying one step ahead of the world catching up takes a lot or work and stress but in general it may be worth it.