By Jeff Copper, MBA, PCC, PCAC, CPCC, ACG – September 11, 2023
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Isn’t that what they say? But trying harder is impossible if you are already trying as hard as you can and getting no results. So, what can you do?
Should you keep trying harder, repeating the same action and getting the same outcome? Of course not! According to Albert Einstein, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.
I say, “If at first you don’t succeed, and if it’s not working, then try something different!” I like this much better because it shifts what you are paying attention to. Simply trying harder when you are already trying as hard as you can is like taking a dead-end road to nowhere. However, trying something different can lead to new discoveries, solutions, options, and possibilities.
What I hope you will learn from this article are two things: First, what is obvious is a function of what you are paying attention to. If you pay attention to the literal meaning of “try, try again,” you will expend a lot of energy, repeat your mistakes and remain stuck. If you pay attention to a broader definition of “try, try,” and then try something different, you are open to paying attention to other options that may lead to success.
The second learning is, if the obvious solution isn’t working — in this case, the obvious solution is ”trying harder” — there is a good chance you are paying attention to the wrong thing. Hence, when the obvious solution isn’t working consider paying attention to it differently.
So, the next time you find yourself stuck, consider trying something different instead of just trying harder. You might find the process more fun, way easier and it just may yield the success you are looking for.