“Don’t ever change,” some people say. It’s a comforting saying, but maybe we should think about it a little.
What would happen if you didn’t change one bit? What if Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day never changed even after living that same day over and over and over? That movie would have gone from being a romantic comedy to being a tragedy. Instead of learning to be a caring friend and good colleague, Murray’s character could have just gone on in his cynical, lonely way.
If we’re honest with ourselves, it’s easy to fall into that trap ourselves. Just punch out another week, month, year. Pretty soon, we’ve lived a career and a life. We may have accomplished a few things, but did we become the best version of ourselves? Did we make our best contribution to the world?
When working with clients on strategy, I’ll sometimes ask, “Tell me about where you don’t want to take this organization.” Visualizing the negative future can have a powerful effect on shaping people’s behavior.