3 Reasons Variety is Essential
Common wisdom deceives you.
You’re boring because some knucklehead said:
- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
- Leave well enough alone.
- Don’t mess with success.
You fall behind if you continue doing the same things, even when you’re doing great today.
3 reasons variety is essential:
#1. Variety produces vitality.
Useful change leads to vitality. Repetition produces ennui.
If you took Spanish in high school like I did, you might need help with ‘ennui’. It’s French. It’s pronounced ahn-wee, not en-nooie. It’s a synonym of boredom. I didn’t want to be boring so I used ‘ennui’ to build excitement.
If it ain’t broke it will become monotonous.
Defeat ennui by…
- Changing the way you begin or end meetings.
- Asking new questions.
- Sitting in a new spot.
- Eating different foods.
- Challenging yourself to achieve different results.
Note: Consistency in some areas is essential, responsibility and reliability for example. In those cases, ennui be damned.
#2. Variety produces new results.
Consistency is a comforting misconception that leads to plateauing.
I hired a personal trainer who is an expert in functional exercise. When I was young, I lifted weights to the point of failure. If I did that today, I’d need an ambulance.
My trainer changes things up. Just about the time I get good at a new exercise he changes it. New forms of stress produce new results.
#3. Variety keeps you relevant.
You don’t get the same result when you continue doing the same thing. You become irrelevant.
Think about the Pony Express and Blockbuster. Travel agents, encyclopedia salespersons, ice cutters, and lamp lighters aren’t topics of conversation anymore either. And don’t bother applying for a knocker-up position. See a knocker-upper in action here.
How might you introduce variety into your leadership today?
What are possible problems when you change things up?
Overcoming the Futility of Doing the Next Thing (90 second read.)
Variety Makes Consistency Possible (90 second read.)
Ennui is a great word. Falls near one of the seven deadly sins, that of sloth, or I think better, acedia. There is much overlap. So if the answer to these is diligence, it can be hard to simply wake up one morning with the determination to be diligent if I’m accustomed to sloth and lack of motivation and vitality. I can see how changing things up can be quite helpful. Thanks.
I had to look up, acedia. Thanks! 🙂
A few years ago, I was plagued by ennui as I drove from where I ate breakfast to my office. A friend suggested I try taking different routes instead of going on the highway. I began finding beautiful backroads through farmland and forests, which made all the difference. Every day there are different sites. Farmers on tractors, baby cows, deer, turkey, and spring flowers at this time of year.
I look forward to the drive. No more ennui for me.
Hey John, That’s a wonderful and simple practice to create variety. Plus, you might be a better driver because you have to pay attention. 🙂
In your #3 think abouts, my mind went right to Sears.
Oh, I forget Sears. Thanks, Ken.