I was playing basketball with our son Mason yesterday. We were shooting hoops and I felt like I couldn’t miss. I kept shooting and it kept going in. It was a really good feeling.
As I thought about it, I realized that for the past several years I had settled on shooting a basketball with a certain form. I chose a particular way to shoot the ball and stuck with it.
Every time I played basketball I shot the same way. I practiced that particular way of shooting over and over again.
At this point I’m fairly competent at shooting this way.
This is very different than my past patterns with doing something.
In the past, I constantly changed my approach to doing something. I was always looking for new approaches. I was always tinkering and changing HOW I did something.
This was mentally and emotionally stimulating, but it led to me underperforming a lot of the time.
I did this in high school with basketball (I was always trying out a new way to shoot)
I did this in golf (I tried out new swings every week)
I did this in dating and relationships (always trying a new way to meet someone or connect with someone)
It is my personality to be drawn to attempting many different ways to do something, which often meant I mastered nothing.
After recognizing this pattern in myself, I worked to change it.
I’ve actively shut down my attempts to always do something a new way.
It has led me to get pretty good at things through consistent practice of the same approach.
Some people are on the opposite side of the spectrum. They try something one way and do it that way forever regardless of results or the outcome.
In working with many people to master a part of their life, I’ve come to see that it’s important to identify where you are on this spectrum.
Are you someone who attempts to master something by doing it only one or two ways forever?
Are you someone who is constantly trying new ways of doing something?
Neither is right or wrong.
What is important is identifying where you naturally gravitate on this spectrum and honestly assessing your results doing things this way.
There is a sweet spot for everyone of figuring out the right combination of trying a couple of new ways of doing something with mastering HOW to do something by consistent repetition of the same approach.
Dr. Michael Arn