A Checkbox Mentality
Writing a check list

“How do I get out of this rut?”  

I hear this all the time from people. But how can someone shake that feeling of being caught in a rut? They do the same things, day after day. They go to work, go home, go to bed, get up the next day and do it all over again. We call that the checkbox mentality.

So many people in life get comfortable with what they have or do each day. But what happens when they wake up, do the same things over and over and over again expecting different results? When you have a checkbox mentality, life becomes a routine that’s predictable but no longer satisfying. They go 10 feet forward…and then 10 feet back. If they want things to change, then you must change and get out away from just checking the box.

This reminds me of a story:

A zoo put a bear in a cage that was 10 feet long. The bear was at one end, and his food was placed at the other. Every single day, the bear would walk 10 feet, eat and then go back over to lie down. Day after day, he had the same routine. Walk 10 feet, eat, then walk 10 feet to lie back down. This went on for 10 years until one day, they removed the cage. Well, the bear kept walking only the 10 feet to eat and then back again to lie back down…ALL without bars.

Now here is where it gets scary…when the zookeepers moved the food 15 feet away from the bear, the bear only went his usually 10 feet and then stopped. Never eating, but waiting for the expected outcome of getting his food. Even though the food was only an additional five feet away, he only followed his routine of walking the 10 feet and then expecting food.

I’m sure you’ve heard of or read that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.” This is a prime example. If you want things to be different, then you MUST change what you do. Break free of the stagnant day to day you’ve created for yourself, and don’t end up like the bear in my story!

Make some changes:

Go ahead, PLEASE try something new! You see, things will only change when you either change your actions or change the way you look at things! Say “YES” to the ideas that you would typically put off or push aside:

  • Take on new initiatives.
  • Take the trip that you have been thinking about.
  • Look for a new job, or apply for that new position inside your current organization.
  • Start that business.
  • Go after that prospect.
  • Ask that person on a date.
  • Play a new sport or try a new workout.

If you really want things to change, change your attitude, throw out the checkbox and make changes to your routine…I can’t stress this enough!


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