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  • Harirai Khalsa

Move the object, change your life

I have this thing with books.


I love reading them, but I don't get through nearly as much reading material as I would like in the average week/month/year.


One of the problems is that I tend to read right before bed. But often when I go to bed I'm tired. That's why I'm going to bed. So what happens is I read one paragraph, decide it's too difficult, and just go to sleep. The next night there's a good chance I'll do the same thing, with the same paragraph. It's not a great way to advance through a book.


There's an adage you might've heard: "If you always do what you've always done, you always get what you've always got." (It was most likely coined either by Jessie Potter or Jackie "Moms" Mabley, even though today you mostly see it credited to white men like Henry Ford and Tony Robbins who most certainly did not make it up. #funfact)


Whether it's in business, art, life, love, books, whatever, lots of people are looking for a specific, dazzling outcome without putting much thought into the required input. But you can't change what you get without changing how you get it. Easy to comprehend, I know, the kind of advice that's so obvious you kind of just want to wave it away and go "yeah, I know."


But it's hard to really get it. It's hard to understand it well enough that you actually change your behavior. How many of us are Olympic level pros at thinking of all the ways we could be doing things differently, and tiny flailing newborns when it comes to actually doing any of those things?



In business this can be an even trickier concept, particularly when you have multiple people or even multiple departments involved. It's all well and good to devise a new product to try and increase sales. But if you're using the same systems to develop and market it that you've always used in the past, what makes you think this one is going to do better?


It can be tempting to go out chasing shiny new ideas, but usually the answer lies closer to home. When you improve how you're doing things, instead of what it is you're doing, that's how you set yourself up for an actual change, instead of just a brief season of novelty.


Change doesn't happen by just changing one thing one time. Change happens consistently, incrementally, and (usually) undramatically.


So I'm setting myself a challenge this week, and I want to invite you to join me. Instead of keeping my book by my pillow, I'm going to put it by my tea kettle, and every morning I'm going to read while I drink my tea. I'll be back next week to let you know how much reading I managed to accomplish.


What about you? What are you going to try doing differently this week?

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