I’m reading Marshall Goldsmith’s What Got You’re Here Won’t Get Your There, and early on, Marshall talks about the importance of what gets stopped. We often hear of the successes of others. As Marshall points out, though, there are many reasons why successful people succeed. What is oftentimes just as important (if not more so) and is not talked about is what successful people STOP doing.
What entrepreneurs may stop, for example, is down a path that would not yield successful outcomes. Successful startups are known for their successes; rarely for their failures or what they do to shift their focus.
Marshall writes how people try to change habits and create great processes. This can be challenging, however, with several steps required. Instead, folks could be better off by focusing on small things to STOP doing. Oftentimes, this is just enough to create noticeable, positive results.
When I read all of this, I think about self-awareness, being comfortable with the uncomfortable, and making small changes for sustainable effects. Case in point: I hate vegetables. I really do. However, I realize the importance of eating vegetables for their nutrients. To change this, many people think about the need to make big changes – start eating a lot of vegetables.
For me, I realize what I really want to do is to be open to eating vegetables – not be scared off by them. For me, I’m indeed adding a vegetable a day as part of a “30 Broccoli, 30 Days” challenge – consuming broccoli florets daily for 30 days. I’m not going for a lot because I know me well. Meanwhile, the goal here is not to be a vegetarian or to even start eating a lot of vegetables – that just wouldn’t be me (read: hardly sustainable). Instead, I want to STOP ignoring vegetables on my plate (or throw them away 😊).
I want to be a better writer. I realized early on how often I use “so” in my writing. Now, I’m aware of this and am limiting (“stopping”) how often I use the word. I am also working on STOPPING filler words in my speech. I’m not trying to improve how I speak by taking speaking courses or studying a thesaurus. Instead, I’m stopping what I feel is not productive for effective speakers.
Think about yourself. Think about what you want to improve. Think about what you want to STOP rather than what you want to do.