Not that long ago, I was sitting in the reception of one of my personal training studios. It was a nice day so we had the studio door open to let in some ‘real’ air and freshen up the place a little.
As I sat there watching people come in and out for their training sessions I noticed a large, black fly had flown in and after buzzing around for a few minutes and finding nothing of interest, it decided to leave.
It flew right past my head and with a ‘thump’, hit the plate glass window before bouncing off and falling to the floor in a daze.
After a few seconds of circling around on the floor it took off again and took what I can only describe as a ’run-up’ (fly–up?) at the window in a greater attempt to get through the barrier that was keeping it from its goal of the outside world.
With an even louder ‘thump’ the fly went down again and spent more time on the floor.
Well, to cut a long story short, that fly got up again and again and again and pounded at that window with all of its might for over 10 minutes before I had to get up and take care of a customer.
About 30 minutes later I sat back down in the same spot having totally forgotten about the fly and went back to my ‘people watching’ when, out of the corner of my eye I saw the fly laying at the base of the window on its back, legs in the air.
It was dead.
Now, usually the death of a fly is not worthy of remembrance but this one I will always remember because its death taught me one of the greatest success lessons I’ve ever learned and I continue to reap the benefits of its teaching to this day.
What Did It Teach Me?
That Working Harder Simply Doesn’t Work!
You see, in theory, that little fly was doing everything right.
It had a clearly defined goal – To get out.
It had passion – It risked and eventually paid with its life.
It was willing to work as hard as necessary to bring about its goal.
In fact, that little bug kind of reminded me of many, many people that I’d met who knew what they wanted, had passion and were willing to work as hard as necessary to achieve their dreams but who were, over and over again bashing their heads in on the same invisible barrier that did for that fly.
And whilst it may not have ended in physical death for them (I hope not!), nearly always it ends in the death of their hopes and dreams which, to me at least, is pretty much the same thing.
No, at that very moment it was clear to me that working for most people harder would only ever take them so far but that, if they were willing to do what the fly and so many other people were unwilling to do, they could achieve far more than they ever dreamed possible.
That one thing?
Change their Strategy!
You see, that’s where that little fly had gone wrong and, truth be told, where most people are going wrong, is that it doggedly stuck to the same strategy even once it had failed to work.
Instead of flying 5 feet over to the open door to its freedom and whatever life awaited it beyond that invisible barrier, it continued to bang its head off of the window and, despite the fact that it was giving it everything it had and despite being so close to reaching its goal… failed miserably.
Just 5 feet in another direction would have made all the difference.
It made me think of the number of clients I'd trained who had, year after year after year, followed the same pattern of dieting that never worked, did the same exercise routines that never worked and struggled to achieve the same goals that never seemed to come about.
It made me think about that definition of madness 'Continuously doing the same things yet expecting different results' and left me with the realisation that many, many people are nuts! : )
Yet all it would take for sanity to be regained and for serious results to be achieved is one simple thing...
Try a different strategy.
So my challenge to you is, make 2007 the year that you change your strategy.
Find someone who's already getting the results you want.
Listen to them.
Stop insisting on choosing failure by default and make 2007 your year!
Truth, Joy and Love
(This is a great way to develop a new strategy)