Archana Law breaks away from the old for new results

Although extremely tricky and sometimes even baffling, changing how things are done can be a powerful performance enhancing tool. Part of the problem involves a lack of understanding of what makes some good ideas and innovations catch on like wildfire while others struggle to gain traction.

French novelist Marcel Proust once observed that “the real voyage of discovery lies not in seeing new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Business leaders and individuals alike may ponder on why they accept the high costs that stem from neglecting behaviour, which perpetuates the status quo in their organisations.

Over the past century, an entire discipline has arisen to study and explain behaviour: why we do or say what we do, and why we fail to act or don’t say something we should. This behavioural science has the same properties as chemistry and biology – viz. careful observation, data collection, replicability, measurability and laws.

Its findings have allowed us to develop proven tools that can improve the performance of leaders, organisations, employees and individuals. The disciplined use of these tools can help organisations achieve sustainable results because they allow leaders to reassess their own business challenges with fresh eyes, driving new action and achieving better results.

Successful businesses need a constant flow of innovative ideas, products and services. In other words, a significant breakthrough is a break with the old ways of thinking – or a paradigm shift. However, getting to the breakthrough point isn’t easy. We all wait for those ‘eureka moments’ but what ends up happening more often than not is that we’re floundering… stuck with a problem and desperate.

From a personal development perspective, a paradigm is the set of primary beliefs a person or group has that is responsible for their behaviour. So a change in beliefs will result in totally different behaviour.

Fulfilling your dreams and the ability to thrive in areas of your life that matter most can be simplified by breakthroughs. It’s those moments in time when the impossible becomes possible and you won’t settle for anything less than extraordinary.

So how do you get to the breakthrough point in all areas of your life? Here are some pointers…

READ THE STORY We all have stories we tell ourselves… about why we can or can’t do something in our lives. Whatever we believe, we’re usually right because our expectations control our focus, perceptions, and the way we feel and act. Your story may be of a truly horrific experience but that’s not the reason why you can’t have the life you want. Analyse the story you’re telling yourself because that’s where most of your barriers to success lie.

MENTAL STATE Whether you have an empowering or disempowering story, it’s influenced most powerfully by the mental and emotional states you’re in at that moment in time. As human beings, we develop emotional patterns or moods that are mental or emotional states, which tend to determine how we look at our lives. These influence the stories that we make up about who we are, what we’re capable of and what we can or can’t achieve.

DEEP BREATHS One of the greatest scientific discoveries has been that you can change your emotional mood by a radical change in your physiology. Most people use only 20 percent of their lung capacity by taking short breaths even though 70 percent of the body’s toxins can be released by taking full breaths. By inhaling and exhaling fully you can improve your health and radically reduce any anxiety related to that moment.

CHANGE OF FOCUS Where focus goes, energy flows. What’s wrong is always known but so is what’s right. Whatever we focus on affects our state and the story we have about who we are, what life is about, what’s possible and what isn’t. From that story, we often determine whether or not we’ll maximise our capabilities.

POSITIVE HABITS A personal breakthrough involves lots of new components to your life; and as part of the process, you must decide to take up new positive habits – because living the same old way won’t deliver any new results. The small acts that you repeat each day end up having a lot to do with your overall success.

RIGHT BEHAVIOUR A 2008 Harvard Business Review (HBR) survey involving 125,000 participants from over 50 countries found that three out of every five companies surveyed rated their organisations as being weak at execution. Superior execution requires more than simply having superior strategies, processes and technology to perform well over the long term. There’s something very basic and seemingly ordinary that is also needed – and that’s appropriate behaviour.

A breakthrough changes the course of our lives and ensures that things will never be quite the same again!