“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Some of you may remember (or have at least heard of) the movie Groundhog Day from the early 90’s, starring Bill Murray. The idea was that the main character (Murray) gets stuck in some kind of time loop where he keeps living the same day over and over. He gets in trouble with the law, he gets in fights, he even dies repeatedly – and then wakes up to the same day again.
Some friends of mine refer to businesses having “Groundhog Years”. They’re busy doing stuff all year long, but nothing ever really changes and it seems like the business just keeps having the same year over and over again. If we were really honest with ourselves, we’d probably admit that idea applies to a lot of our businesses.
Why does that happen? Why does it seem like big chunks of our career can go by and suddenly we’re ten years older but nothing has really changed? We seem to recognize it when it happens, we seem to accept it as normal – even though it’s depressing – and then we keep doing it.
The reality for our businesses is that nothing will change if we don’t change it. Outside forces and events will change the results we get – usually not for the better – but internally things don’t just get better. We have to actually make them better.
There are so many leaders that talk about issues they’re facing, and complain about things that aren’t the way they want them, then do absolutely nothing to change. The sit there paralyzed by fear or indecision and then can’t figure out why they’re miserable all the time. They may not have created the hell that they’re in, but they aren’t doing anything to get out of it either.
Think about your business. Does it feel like you’re dealing with the same kinds of things over and over again? Are you complaining about the same challenges and stresses in 2023 that you complained about in 2022, or 2021, or maybe even 2013? What have you purposefully done about those challenges and stresses during that time period? If you can’t think of anything, then quit being surprised.
Don’t get stuck in a perpetual cycle of living the same years over and over again. It’s a waste of a life to spend 40+ years in a career just sitting there. Get up and get changing. Try something different. Push yourself. Get uncomfortable.