“The difficulty’s not getting new ideas; new ideas are cheap. I mean there are plenty of new ideas. It’s getting rid of the old ideas; that’s the hard part.” Carlo Rovelli, physicist, author.
I was quite taken by this quote when I read it. It got me wondering what old ideas it’s taken me time to get rid of. Here are a few:
- That I knew what was best for you, but’s that’s not true. You know best and if I ask you the right questions, you’ll tell me.
- That being busy was a good thing. Until I realised that not being busy meant I was much more effective.
- That financial planning was necessarily complicated. Then I realised that, if you don’t understand your financial plan, it’s no plan at all.
- That your investment strategy was all important when, in fact, it’s the servant of your financial plan, not the master.
- That second-guessing what markets / economies / politicians will do next was essential. Until it dawned on me that being a part-owner in the biggest, most successful businesses around the world negates all of that.
[Not that second-guessing isn’t fun, but it’s about as important to your financial plan as the winner of the 2.30 at Ascot.]
- That my colleagues were grateful for my close supervision. Then I stopped and they became happier and got more done.
- That I had to adapt our services to suit the prospective client. Now I know we should only do what we do best and if that doesn’t suit them, we shouldn’t work together.
- That targets, budgets, bonuses were motivational. And then I realised that we’re motivated by things more profound than numbers and money alone.
There are many more of course but, to summarise, it’s fair to say I used to hold on to my thinking and ideas like my life depended on them.
And then I realised that doing so stopped newer, better thinking and ideas coming through. Allowing that flow led to an easier existence: the energy it takes to hold on to bad thinking and ideas is exhausting.
So, what about you?
We all face challenges at home or at work that seem intractable, where we think “If only so-and-so did this, everything would be okay”, but that’s not true.
What could change for you if only you dropped an old idea and allowed a fresh, new idea to come through?
And what’s stopping you dropping that old idea? What have you got to lose? You can always go back if the new one doesn’t pass muster.
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