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December 25, 2011

Tip of the Week 

Insurance Against Mediocrity 


What is it:  A substitute of one thing for another.

Why it’s Important:  Without forward progress you’ll be stuck in the past perfectly suited for a reality that no longer exists. People are missing the boat.  Change is the only constant we have and it’s here for a very good reason: 

We need to be flexible enough to change our behavior when new and better information becomes available.

Two examples come to mind: 

  1. Smoking causes cancer 
  2. Fluorocarbons destroy ozone 

The Problem:  Change is much harder than anyone gives it credit. There are two opinions: 

Bootstrappers - Change is easy if you make up your mind

Skittish - Change is scary and people will laugh at you


At any given moment, you'll be one or the other because your opinion is determined by whether or not you’re in the process of changing something.


In the end, both sides of you come to the same conclusion:

I’ll never change

The Tip:  Brush Left-Handed

For the next 7 mornings, make up your mind to brush your teeth with the other hand.  If you’re a right-handed brusher, use your left hand. Just do it 7 mornings in a row—you can use your comfortable hand to brush in the evening.



  • You won’t like it 
  • It will take you longer to get ready 
  • You’ll do a lousy job on your teeth 
  • Without realizing, you’ll find yourself brushing with your comfortable hand 
  • You won’t last all 7 mornings 

The Benefit: Change is hard and uncomfortable

  • Awareness - Conscious intention gets trumped by unconscious habit 
  • Acceptance - Unsuccessful conscious intentions aren't character flaws 
  • Patience - Change, even small ones, take time  
  • Forgiveness - Past failed attempts to change something are better understood  

HAPPY 2012! 


New Year’s Resolutions are just declarations of the changes based on things we’ve learned.  Change is good—if you’re still smoking please stop—and change is hard.  Throughout the coming year I’ll introduce The Small Step Rule, a simple and practical method for following through on your good intentions to make good changes.  Watch for it in January.  In the meantime, take it easy bootstrappers and skittish changers, change is hard but that doesn’t mean you’ll never change.




Related Article:  Anti-Resolutions, Old Year’s Resolutions, The Basic Virtue, Your Perfect Life, Attraction, Responsible vs. Accountable


Related Tip:  Ignore List, I'm Sorry,


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