The Truth Of Habits And Urban Myths

Recently something occurred that reminded me of an old story  which perfectly sums up what can easily happen if we just keep doing things the way we’ve ‘always’ done them and is equally true for life in general as it is for any of your writing or business endeavours…

 

There are plenty of versions of this tale, but the one I remember goes like this…

A newly married man sees his wife trimming off the last few inches of a large joint of meat before she puts it in a baking tray for their Sunday Roast.

Having never seen this before, he assumes that it some sort of secret technique for ensuring the meat is done to perfection, however after a few weeks, curiosity gets the better of him and he asks his wife why she does this.

She explains that this is how her mother always roasted meat, hadn’t got a clue why she did it but there ‘had’ to be a good reason for doing it…

A few weeks later the couple are having Sunday lunch with the wife’s parents and he asks his mother-in-law why she always cut the end off of the meat before putting it in the roasting tin. She tells him that she does it because she remembers seeing her mother do it, although she didn’t know why … but knew there ‘had’ to be a reason for it.

It is not until the family meet up at Christmas that he finally gets the chance to ask his wife’s Grandmother why she cut the end off of the joint, and why was that the secret to making the perfect roast..?

His wife’s grandmother simply replied that, her husband always seemed to bring home a piece of meat that was too big for her roasting dish so she always had to cut the end off so it would fit in the oven…;-)

Urban myth or not, it brings home the fact that so often we do things just because we have ‘always done it that way’ and there ‘had’ to be a good reason for doing it … even if we can’t quite put our finger on what that is…

We often don’t stop to think about why we do things and ask ourselves if this is the best way. Often we find it used to be the best way … but things have moved on a bit and it has never occurred to question what we are doing.

I constantly review and re-jig what goes on here (you’d certainly agree if I was still using the same tools and methods I did when I started a decade ago I’d be in what is referred to by some as ‘all sorts of bother’) and find, almost without exception, that the ‘new’ way not only works better but is more adaptable and able to accommodate further change…

We should always regularly question everything that you do and ask if this is the best way in the current circumstances and with the resources you have at your disposal. If you are unsure which way to go experiment with different ideas and see if what you are doing is still the best answer … and if it isn’t – don’t be afraid to change it.

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