As we enter that time of year full of great traditions, I am reminded that there are some traditions that can get in the way of success.
When we stick to what’s been done just because it’s the way we’ve always done it, we lose the opportunity for greater possibilities. This happens in all aspects of life. In my book The 10X Rule I make the point that you must seek to do what others refuse to do and this applies to breaking traditions where they no longer serve you.
Macy’s recently announced they would break the sanctity of Thanksgiving Day spent over-eating and watching football by opening their doors at 8pm for earlybird Black Friday shoppers. They may have gotten some kickback, but this is exactly the type of thinking we can all learn from. Ask yourself, are you open for business? Are you taking advantage of every opportunity to make a great life for yourself and your family by casting aside the old mindset and embracing a new level of action in your life and business?
Most people cling to what’s familiar and comfortable and let opportunity pass them by. Why? “This is where I’m from. I’ve lived here my whole life,” or “My entire family is here, I can’t just leave.” These are traditions and they hold us back.
Want to create a rut for yourself? Stick to traditions and even worse, allow others to impose traditions on you. “We always go to XYZ restaurant for Jack’s birthday,” or “We always shop at ABC” or “We always go to our same favorite vacation spot.” We must catch ourselves in this limiting “always mode” and force ourselves to break traditions and switch to saying “let’s try something new.” This is how to expand and thrive.
Here’s an exercise. List the traditions you live by. Maybe you’ve gotten your haircut at the same place for 10 years? Write it down. Been rolling with the same friends since high school? Spend the holidays at your parent’s house? Write it all down. Then, beside each tradition, write what you will do differently. Be prepared to get fallout from family, friends, colleagues. People who are stuck wanting others to remain stuck with them.
It is so important that we remain open to possibilities to better ourselves and our loved ones. Looking at the traditions that may get in the way of success helps us get honest about what may be holding us back. I know that when I approach situations differently, great things happen. When I catch myself being too emotionally tied to traditions, I have to get real about it and push myself out of my comfort zone. The most successful deals and experiences in my life came when I went against the norm or status quo. It’s not easy, but nothing great ever is.
Be great. Nothing else pays.