Routines. Patterns. Traditions. The mindset that justifies doing a particular “thing” because that's the way we’ve always done it…. Sometimes these ideas can be a good thing and sometimes…usually, they can be limitations.
Have you ever stopped to think about what it really takes to live a life of purpose and determination? Usually it does not include any of the ideas or ideals mentioned above. Often great experiences or great accomplishments require breaking patterns or routines. It can be as simple as ordering something different off of a menu or taking a different route home from work, to something more significant like building a relationship with someone that you normally wouldn't or trying something new in the bedroom with your significant other.
A couple of years ago I took over a failing portion of my company’s business. The people were for the most part good people, but they followed a routine that wasn't working, and no one ever questioned it. If you ever want to see me loose my mind, have a process that is failing and when asked why things are done the way they are, answer “Because that's the way we've always done it.” I promise you that my head will explode and things will get ugly. The team needed a jolt. I called a meeting with the managers in that organization and put one slide on the screen. It simply said “If It’s Dumb, Stop Doing It.” We spent the next 2 hours whiteboarding all of the processes and discussing them to determine which ones were in fact dumb and in need of elimination or replacement. They got the point.
I learned a long time ago to expect measurable progress in reasonable time or make significant changes. Only dead fish go with the flow.