Friday, April 15, 2016

The Grenade Approach to Change


I was told today by a co-worker that she doesn't read my blogs anymore because I only write about boring stuff these days. By boring things, she's referring to topics like kids, being a father, being a husband....basically....my life. In an effort not to call her out or embarrass her, I'll just call her "Lindsey" for the purpose of this post.

I know she was (mostly) just joking, but she was right about the fact that my recent blog posts have been pretty focused on my family life. In an effort to mix it up a bit for Lindsey, I'm going to make a change and talk about something other than my family today.

Change is something we all deal with in some way, shape or form on a daily basis. Some changes are little and gradual while others hit you in the face like the Minnesota wind in January when you step outside in a blizzard. There are many ways to deal with change, but that's been talked to death. I'm going to focus on getting to plan a change rather than just coping with change.

Since I am really trying not to be too boring here, I'm not going to tell you a traditional (boring) way to plan a major change. I'm going to show you how to have fun while making a change. I like to refer to this method as the "Average Jester Grenade Approach to Change." Basically, you just pull the pin, throw it and pray.

Pick Small - Change Big
Rarely a day goes by where there isn't at least one thing you wish you could change. It could be something simple like getting a key hook for your keys rather than throwing them on the table where you always seem to forget them. Or, it might be a big change like deciding to plan out, start and maintain a healthier lifestyle including a healthier diet and exercise regime.

Don't waste your time with the big stuff. There's no fun in that. Find the smallest, least important and inconsequential thing you can think of and make a drastic change. Using the key hook example above, a boring person would just go out, buy a key hook and hang it on the wall.

My suggestion would be to go ahead and buy that key hook, but then take it to the next level. Next, you will completely gut your entire house and remodel it to match the perfect key hook you just purchased. Cost and timeliness is no concern. Your entire house MUST coordinate with the style of your new key hook. (As a bonus, I can guarantee you will never again forget about the key hook or where to find your keys if you actually use it.)

Just remember, for the best chance of not being boring, pick the smallest change you can find and make it as complex and complicated a solution you can. Don't worry if you can't find something that needs to change. Sometimes change is fun merely for the sake of change.

Overthinking is Dangerous
I would like to point out in the example above that there was no planning involved. A boring person would evaluate the options, develop an initial plan and weigh the risks and costs against the potential benefits. This is not exactly a pull-the-pin approach.

The better (more fun) option would be to just start throwing parts and pieces together and see how it turns out. Planning a remodel, with all those blueprints and concept sketches take all the fun out of the surprise on what the final results will actually look like....or if the house will even still be standing.

Don't Ruin the Surprise
You can take the surprise factor up a notch by not letting anyone else know what you're doing or why. The biggest problem you'll run into with sharing your plans with someone else is that it will just slow you down. They will want to give you their input and possibly make suggestions that will take the fun out of it.

Sure, there is the possible downside of family members trying to get you committed for gutting your house for no apparent reason. Don't let that stop you though. Just think about all the fun and excitement when the project is complete. You'll be surprised by the result since you didn't plan any of it. Your friends and family members (oops - I talked about family) will also be excited to finally learn that this process all started because you wanted a place to hang your keys. ("Excited" might not be the right word??)

Document, Document, Document
Ok, documentation is technically a smart thing to do. A boring person would document the project in terms of plans, receipts, warranty paperwork and the like. But, that's not the fun kind of documentation I'm talking about.

If you were an extremely exciting (totally not boring) blogger like me, you would document your remodeling project on your blog. Considering how this unplanned and spontaneous key hook need turned into a whole house remodel, you'll probably have plenty of content. In fact, you could probably write a book about it.

Hopefully you have enough content to write a whole series of books about your adventure. Let's face it. If you follow the grenade approach to change above, you're going to have a lot of alone time in your future. I know I would get the silent treatment from my wife for quite a while if I remodeled the entire house to accommodate a key hook....especially if I didn't tell her about it until the end. (oops - family talk again.) This is part of the reason I don't actually use the grenade approach. I do want to point out to Lindsey though that it's not because I'm boring. It's because I'm not stupid. Until next time....