Stuck in a Rut

Change seems to be the buzzword of the year. You hear it from everyone—politicians, business leaders, and the media at every turn. While everyone does an exceptional job of talking change, it’s going to be interesting to see how they do at walking it. For the first time in many years, outcomes are suddenly critical to success and in many cases, survival.

As a result of that momentous challenge, everyone seems to be running around like a head with their chicken cut off! Everyone appears to be on the move. However, being busy doesn’t exactly insure progress or accomplishment. Activity alone clearly isn’t enough.

John Henry Fabre, a French naturalist, conducted an experiment which certainly proves this fact. He filled a flowerpot with dirt and arranged some processionary caterpillars in a circle around the rim of the flowerpot. These caterpillars blindly follow the one in front of them. Hence, the name. In the center of the flowerpot he put pine needles, which is the favorite food of the processionary caterpillar. The caterpillars walked around the rim of the flowerpot hour after hour, day after day, night after night. No nourishment, no rest! They dropped dead of starvation and exhaustion; and all the food they needed was just inches away! They failed to take care of what was important. And in the process they accomplished nothing meaningful, nothing lasting. The caterpillars mistook activity for accomplishment. They meant well but failed to distinguish between exertion and purpose.

Many people and organizations make the same mistake. As a result, they accomplish only a fraction of what they’re capable of. Many of them do what they do simply because it’s always been down that way. Today’s challenges require more.

True achievers must set daily, productive action goals that are results-oriented. Convince an entire team to do this, and you’ll start seeing positive results very quickly. This focused effort soon becomes a habit—one which leads to the success you seek.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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