Square Pegs, Round Holes

Question: There are times when the harder I try to get something to work the less likely I am to succeed. Naturally this is frustrating but I don’t want to give up. Help!

Answer: Take solace – we’ve all been there at one time or another. Here’s what happens. We have a goal in mind. Let’s simplify it for illustrative purposes. We want to thread a tiny fishing line into a tiny eye of a tiny hook. We have the best of intentions – we just want to thread the hook. But our eyesight may not be the best; our fingers might be too big; the light might not be right; we may have trouble holding the hook steady (and maybe the line too) – all of these elements may be working against us. What do we do? We keep pushing that line at the hook’s eye and we keep missing. Over and over and over we do this with the frustration mounting.

How do we finally thread the line through the hook? We slow down. We make sure the light is right. We put our reading glasses on. We take a deep breath and relax. And guess what – the line goes right into the eye of the hook. The lesson here is that when we try and force things we often fail.

As entrepreneurs we need to use this simple lesson as we go about our daily business. I spent many years trying to “muscle” my way to accomplish my goals. There were times when I tried to “will” things to happen the way I wanted. This was a classic case of trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. It just didn’t work. Oh, there were plenty of times that I accomplished my goal. But that square peg may have been mangled in the process.

I finally broke the code when I realized that my “muscle” approach was actually causing me to be “muscle bound.” I learned that my high sense of urgency was causing me to plunge into trying to accomplish something without the necessary foundation being laid. I discovered that doing more research and creating a solid plan was a good launching pad. It also became apparent that maintaining a higher sense of awareness about what was happening along the way would serve me well. How were people responding to my approach? Did I need to provide better and clearer directions? By relaxing and keeping a positive attitude I was able to still maintain my sense of urgency, and the path to success was smoother and more certain.

When we feel as though we are running into walls it’s time to take a step back. Reassess the situation. Create a new plan. Relax. Then start again with a new and positive attitude.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.


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