Stop trying to make the biggest change possible and start making the smallest change possible.
Change is far more about your attitude than possibility. More about leverage than it is about inputs.
As a kid I liked to sleep in. My oldest bother had taught our family that during the Summer months of the year, if you wanted to sleep in, you had to black out the windows in your room. This usually consisted of garbage bags taped to the window frame, layered on because everyone knew the Sun could get through one bag. What a waste of garbage bags. I had a south facing room so it was very bright in the morning.
At the time the proper (or so we thought) room black-out technique was this layered garbage bag approach, this scientific sleep prolonging method was rumoured to have originated on the first Moon landing to allow Astronauts to get more sleep. Then the tradition was carried on in the Seinfeld episode with Kenny Rogers Chicken Rosters that sets up shop across from Kramer’s apartment, Kramer using the tried garbage bags method. Though that story was never verified, this seemingly elementary technique saved me countless hours of sleep in my adolescents.
To my parents the tapped on garbage bags were an eye-sore and a waste of garbage bags. But somehow we’d explain to Mom and Dad about why it was so necessary.
Then one year my Mom said I couldn’t do it. What do you mean I can’t black out my windows?! How the heck will I sleep in!?!
That was my problem to figure out. So, with some creative thinking I started to break the problem down into smaller parts before trying to solve it.
The garbage bags served as a purpose to keep the room dark. Why? Because the sun came through the windows. But it wasn’t the room I needed to keep dark, it was simply the area in front of my face I cared about!
So that night I took an old pair of black underwear (I know gross), draped it over my eyes and had one of the best sleeps in a long time.
For years I had told myself there is only one way to keep my room dark! That’s not true though, I found another way.
That’s how we’re trained to think about most things in life, the way we do it is the only way it can be done. But time and time again history proves us wrong.
When you think you’re out of ideas and you can’t possibly move forward that’s the precise time to try something you’ve never done before. Every now and then you surprise yourself with how imaginative you can be.
Changing the world can be scary, changing the small part of the world in front of you is easy. You just need to wear a pair of underwear on your head for a night!
(no I don’t sleep with underwear on my face anymore, one case of pink eye and you’ll change!)