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Light Ways to Get Unstuck

Reading Keith Yamashita's book Unstuck is an active, engaging experience. You don't really read the book, you use it. To be true, the book has been written — and designed — as a tool, one that includes plenty of Choose Your Own Adventure-like page turning, room to write, and thought-provoking questions. So the read is somewhat slow going, as you need to savor it. To read strategically.

Thinking about that on the train this morning, led me to ask why change can be so challenging. Yes, many are resistant to change. Yes, we're creatures of habit. But maybe it's because we aim too high right from the get go?

This entry is a consideration — a celebration — of small changes. The low-hanging fruit. While I need to use the book as it's meant to be used and do my own heavy lifting on the change front — we can all use some improvement — I'm also thinking about the little, little changes that might add up.

Consider doing something new every day. Consider altering your walk to work slightly. Consider walking past the restaurant you frequent and go to the one next door. Consider not shaving for a day. Consider whether you should take a vitamin E supplement.

Arguably, each of these small, small steps could improve your life — even your work life. And I'm curious where Keith comes down on this: When one is stuck, are big changes necessary to dislodge one's self from the rut, or are smaller, incremental changes sufficient to chip away at the impedence?

Update: Thanks to Curt Rosengren, I came across Keith Varnum's article What's on Your Shift List?, which offers a bunch of ways to vary your life... light ways to get unstuck, all.

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  • Zane Safrit

    I've not read Keith's work. Looks like I'll have to. And Ramesh's comments are right-on about the lack of common sense.

    I have a tendency to create unrealistic timelines for change-like projects: write a book, run a marathon, etc. Experience has taught me to 1) keep the goal in mind; 2) structure smaller accomplishments each of which brings me closer to the goal. It keeps the spirits up with a steady stream of accomplishments. That tends to make me a bit more pleasant to be around, which makes my wife and co-workers very happy.

  • Ramesh K umar

    Keith Varnum is just brilliant.honestly, nothing is new in whatever he says. appears sheer common sense. but the tragedy is common sense is uncommon these days.

    the moment one accepts that ups and downs are part of life, all will fall in place. the big question is achieving that mental equilibrium.

    tks fc for taking me to Varnum's doorsteps.

    Ramesh Kumar