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We’re just about to head to our beach house in Sag Harbor, New York.
I sooo love being there.
We’re completely surrounded by nature and have tons of windows so the house is flooded in natural light. Generally speaking, it’s really, really quiet.
Unlike our house in the city, we leave the windows and doors open as much as we can. And when we do, at least one fly manages to find its way inside.
Then it happens.
Bzzz. Thump. Bzzz. Bzzzzz. Thump. Bzzzzz. Bzzzzzzzzz. Thump. Thump.
The only sound heard is the frantic and desperate fly slamming itself into a skylight pane… again and again and again.
Because the skylight looks like the most direct route to freedom, the fly works harder and harder, repeatedly slamming into the glass.
Bzzz. Thump. Bzzzz. Thump.
It’s really wild to watch. Blind determination.
The problem is the fly’s entire success strategy is based on an erroneous notion: “More effort = more success. If I just keep trying harder, I’ll make it through to where I want to go.”
After a few minutes of frenetic crashes, the life force within this little bug-eyed creature begins to fade away until death seems like the only option.
Saddest part of the story?
Back at the reality ranch, less than 20 feet away, a sliding door is wide freaking open.
With hardly any effort at all, just a slight change in approach, that little fly would have all the freedom he wants.
He’d be back in nature, soaring in the blue sky and doing whatever it is that flies do in the Hamptons.
Unfortunately, more times than not, the earnest little fly winds up dead and dusty on my hardwood floor.
His stubborn “try harder approach” leads him straight to his grave while the solution was there all along.
Every time I find another dead and dusty fly in our home, it’s a sobering reminder that when things in my business aren’t working quite the way I want, more of the same won’t help.
Trying harder does not guarantee success and often, it’s the thing that kills it.
This is especially important if you’ve been raised in a blue collar culture with a very strong work ethic.
You’ve been conditioned to believe that tireless effort and struggle are the only ways to succeed.
And often, when success arrives fast and dare I say easy, you almost feel guilty about it.
I’ve found creative entrepreneurs, in particular, are prone to the try harder struggle and we need to collectively support each other in giving that up for a more sustainable approach.
So let’s learn from our dead and dusty friends, shall we?
There’s often a faster, easier and more elegant solution available right now if you’re willing to take a different approach.
If you’re struggling, more of the same will only get you more of the same.
Outrageous success in business comes from thinking different; being different; from being unwilling to settle for the status quo; from innovation; from going in a different direction.
The solutions are often right here.
But accessing them requires leaving our comfort zone and looking at things from a fresh perspective.
So remember, if you’re slamming yourself against the proverbial skylight trying to get what you want, look around.
You’ll likely see that off to the side, in an unexpected place, the door is wide open.
Thoughts on this? Do you have an experience of taking the “open door” instead of the “try harder” approach? Leave a comment and let me know.