I want to let you in on one of my guilty pleasures – it’s playing Candy Crush.
Although I’m quite high up in the levels and I restrict my playing time (I really do hate to think how much time I’ve wasted), I often find myself stuck on a level, repeating the same actions in the hope that this time I will make a breakthrough and progress to the next stage.
As you can imagine, as the days turn into weeks it becomes very frustrating when you find yourself going nowhere.
Suddenly, something will click inside my head and I have to make a concerted effort to come at the game another way and what do you know? Success! Endorphins released and I am momentarily in paradise only for the feeling to disappear the moment I click to enter the next level.
But this week I started to look at Candy Crush in a new light. I started to ask myself probing questions like ‘Why do I keep playing the game the same way when I know the results will end in failure?’ ‘How can I come at it differently?’ Maybe the first question should have been ‘Why don’t you just stop playing the game?…’ but there we are.
Recently, however, it struck me that if our businesses were like Candy Crush then maybe sometimes the reason we struggle to make progress is that we repeat the same actions again and again. Maybe sometimes we are numb to fact that our actions are not leading us anywhere and we’re just going through the motions.
Well, if we are, then today that stops.
Let’s look at how we might start thinking about familiar problems differently to give ourselves a better chance of finding solutions.
Consider these 5 key points:
1. Focus on your thinking
By focusing on your thinking, rather than your actions, you can begin to take a different approach. How often are you aware of your thinking? Is it hindering your progress? Are you focused on finding new ways of thinking that might lead to more positive solutions?
2. Focus on the end result
Begin with the end in mind so that you are crystal clear about what you want to achieve and so that you have specific goals in mind. Try to create a compelling vision that clarifies what you want to achieve and by when. Ask yourself these questions:
(a) How will you know when you’ve reached your goal?
(b) How will it feel?
(c) What will it sound like?
(d) What will you see?
3. Determine what will be helpful
What manner of thinking might help you achieve your specific goals? Negative thinking is never likely to be helpful. So, ask yourself what kind of thinking would be most helpful in pursuit of your goals? And think also about what lessons you might learn from your past experiences.
4. Ask great questions of yourself and others
You’ve got a goal and your vision of success. So what are the next questions you need to ask so you can take the right action and get on your way?
What questions do you need to ask to engage your imagination?
5. Review and measure
Review your thinking and actions as you move towards your goal to ensure that your thinking is serving you well. Assess how helpful your thinking has been in relation to your desired results. Goals change and life happens so sometimes we also have to make adjustments and reassess.
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And I would love to hear how your thinking has either progressed your forward to kept you stuck going around in circles. Or maybe you would just like to tell me about you adventures on Candy Crush!!! So please, leave a comment below.