Fall in love with your idea, but not too much

I recently read a book by Ned Beauman, 'Madness is Better Than Defeat'. Set in 1938, it's the story of two groups on a journey into the Hondurus jungle to a Mayan temple. One group comprises of a Hollywood crew on a mission to film using the temple as a backdrop. The other group want to dismantle the temple and rebuild it in New York. They arrive at the temple simultaneously both determined to complete their missions. Twenty years later they're still there, neither side willing to back down.

Aside from being a totally bizarre book, it documents well the ridiculousness of rigidity. If the New York group had been willing to delay their mission by 3 months, the Hollywood crew could have filmed their film, then the New York group could have dismantled the temple, and everyone would have been home in 4 months.

Stay true to your focus but flexible on your path to acheiving it.

Sometimes we are so fixed on our solution that we forget the problem we are trying to solve. Don't give up on your mission but do review regularly if your method for moving towards it is effective.

Set a date in your diary every month to step away and objectively assess – "Am I approaching this problem in the most effective way, given everything I now know?"

Last updated