Rut -- a routine procedure, situation, or way of life that
has become uninteresting and tiresome... And not
They say a rut is a shallow grave with two open ends. The
good news (good news?!) is that the ends ARE still open,
which means if you act fast, you just might out of it. How
do we get into these ruts anyway? Who would voluntarily lie
down in that grave, shallow or otherwise?
Dr. Edward Debono suggests that thoughts are pathways
literally "etched" in our brain as electrical connections
that get strengthened each time we think them -- thus
limiting our mental options. Just like cow paths. It all
begins when one of the cows wanders home from the field
along a new path. Being cows, others naturally follow,
nicely beating down the grass. The next evening our intrepid
cow is a bit less bold, and follows her own freshly trampled
path, fellow cows in lockstep behind her. And so on, night
after night, widening the path into a footpath, which over
time becomes hardened into a dirt road.
More time passes and the road is paved into a street, then
an avenue, a two-lane highway, and ultimately an interstate.
By the time you come roaring up the onramp in your shiny
SUV, your direction is all mapped out in front of you.
There's no way to turn, and no where to go but towards the
If you want to chart a fresh direction you are going to have
to grab the steering wheel and give it a hard, gut-wrenching
yank to the right. And so it is with your thoughts and
actions. Repeating them a few times all but insures you will
comfortably repeat them indefinitely unless you take
deliberate - possibly disruptive -- action to do otherwise.
Here are 7 rut busters I use with my business coaching
clients that you can apply immediately to get yourself and
your business out of a rut.
Shift your mindset from self to customer. Most business
people think of themselves first. They craft product and
service offers from their own perspective and consider
themselves the beneficiaries of their actions.
While that's not wrong, to get out of your rut do this: put
yourself into the mind of your customer. Who are these
people anyway? What are they concerned about? What are they
trying to accomplish?
If you were your customer, what would you think of that new
product, marketing campaign, or mail piece? Are you selling
your wonderful "stuff", or are you providing them tangible,
meaningful benefits. Ask, "If I were the customer, would I
care?" And if not, consider, "What WOULD I get excited
Shift your mindset from customer to client. A customer is someone who buys your goods or services. The original
meaning of client is entirely different: someone who is
under your care and protection.
Now that's a switch, isn't it? If they're customers, your
goal is to get them to buy something. But if you were to
think of them as under your care - would you approach your
business from another angle? How would you take care of
them? How would you "protect" them? What new programs would
you want to implement immediately?
Revisit your vision. Whenever I feel like I'm in a rut I
return to my vision and I do 2 things. First, I make sure it
still inspires me and that it is pointing me in the
direction I want to go. Once sure, I put pen to paper and
rewrite it. Not just once, but over and over. And I keep
writing until I can't write it anymore because I'm jumping
up and down with a new idea I must do something about right
Conduct a Survey If you don't know what to do next, ask
your clients. (They are clients, aren't they?) Conduct a
survey about anything that interests you. Ask them what's
bothering them. Ask them what they're stuck on. Ask them
what they like about your company and what they'd like you
to do next. Ask them about new features, or new products, or
If you're not happy with your current customers, conduct a
survey among the kind of people you'd like to have as
customers. And, if you can't do that, conduct a survey
online. Write an attractive search engine ad, promise
something of value, and drive people to a survey page. Ask
them anything you like - the answers will almost always
provide you with a neat mind-shift.
Focus on building your strengths and dump your
weaknesses. From the time we are little children we are
taught to better ourselves by working on our weaknesses.
This is often both frustrating and fruitless, and certainly
not as much fun as practicing our strengths.
Try this on: What if you focused 100 percent of your energy
on being world-class in those few things at which you are
already very good, and out-tasked or outsourced those things
at which you were mediocre. Imagine if you never had to face
any of those things again and could spend all your time
doing the good stuff. Would that change the way you felt
about your business? Would that bust you out of your rut?
Not if, but how. Think of that wild and crazy idea you
had recently. The one where you said to yourself, "That
would be great, but there's just no way." Well, I know
there's no way - you just said so -- but if there was a way,
what would it be? Answer that question as if you believed it
was possible - probable even -- and then get busy making it
real. That's power, you know -- turning your vision into
reality. Talk about a breakthrough!
What are you willing to sacrifice? Some important things
are more important than other important things, and trying
to keep all those plates spinning in the air saps your vigor
for the ones that truly matter. Dissipated energy - lethargy
-- is one of the reasons we lie down in that rut in the
first place, and dropping a few of those plates can really
help things break loose.
So let go. Make the sacrifice. Clear your plate and give up
some of those precious things you've been holding on to.
Focus your vitality on plans which will really rock your
world. Ruts? Who needs 'em.
Paul Lemberg's clients call him "the unreasonable business coach" because he insists they pursue goals and take actions far outside their comfort zone to make more money than they previously thought possible. To get www.paullemberg.com/Business_Coaching.html">business coaching tips, tools and strategies like these, visit www.paullemberg.com/Business_Coaching.html">http://www.paullemberg.com/Business_Coaching.html.
President delivers threat after three of four main opposition parties refuse to take part in Sundayâs mayoral polls
President NicolĂĄs Maduro has threatened to disqualify major opposition parties from future elections in Venezuela after boycott-affected mayoral polls left him more dominant than at any time since he took power in 2013.
The ruling socialists won 300 of the 335 mayoral offices on Sunday as three of the four main opposition groups refused to participate, claiming the voting was rigged by a âdictatorâ.
A 27-year-old man was in custody on Monday after detonating an explosive device on the New York City subway during the morning commute.
The suspect, Akayed Ullah, was one of four people injured in the explosion, which occurred at about 7.20am in a passageway near 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, in midtown Manhattan near Times Square, New York City police said.
During an interview in Beijing, from where Rodman had hoped to fly to Pyongyang for his sixth trip there, the former NBA star said US officials had discouraged him from doing so amid continuing tensions between the countries. âBasically they said itâs not a good time right now,â he said.
Police clash with protesters in Lleida as 44 works of art at centre of dispute between Catalonia and region of AragĂłn are removed
Scuffles broke out between police and demonstrators after hundreds of people gathered outside a museum in the Catalan city of Lleida to protest against the removal of 44 works of art that have been at the centre of a long-running dispute between Catalonia and the neighbouring region of AragĂłn.
The pieces, which include paintings, alabaster reliefs and polychromatic wooden coffins, were sold to the Catalan government by the nuns of the Sijena convent, in AragĂłn, in the 1980s.
Past few months have seen scion of Nehru-Gandhi family working on presenting himself as serious challenger to PM Modi
Power has passed to a fourth generation of Indiaâs most influential political dynasty after the election of Rahul Gandhi as the president of the Indian National Congress.
The scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family, which has produced three of Indiaâs prime ministers, including its founding PM, Jawaharlal Nehru, and two who were assassinated in office, was announced as the new leader of Indiaâs chief opposition party on Monday.
As southern California entered its second week engulfed in flames, fire officials said they anticipated more growth and danger due to continued strong wind gusts, no rain and decades-old dry vegetation.
As the Gaza death toll mounts, France and Turkey want the US president to change his mind over recognition of Jerusalem as Israelâs capital
The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is expected to reject an invitation to meet Donald Trump in Washington, amid a strong emerging consensus among key advisers that there are âno conditionsâ for dialogue following the US presidentâs formal recognition of Jerusalem as Israelâs capital.
The issue of how best to respond to Trumpâs announcement is at the centre of a series of emergency meetings of senior Palestinian leaders, which began on Saturday. They are expected to conclude early next week with a rare meeting of the PLO central council, and have already concluded that Abbas should not meet vice president Mike Pence when he visits Israel and Palestine just before Christmas.
To the blast of electric guitars, the revving of Harley-Davidsons, applause and tears, France bade an emotional farewell to 74-year-old Johnny Hallyday, Franceâs rock and roll ânational heroâ on Saturday.
The centre of Paris ground to a halt as the wave of national grief that had overwhelmed the country following the death of the singer, known as the French Elvis, on Wednesday morning finally broke.
Foreign secretary did not get to speak to key decision-makers in Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe case: the revolutionary courts
Not long before travelling to Tehran for two days of talks, Boris Johnson described Iran as resembling âone of those Russian dollsâ, in the sense that there is a state within the outer democratic Iranian state, primarily run by the Revolutionary Guards.
At one level, the bulk of his high-stakes talks were with the outer state of the president, Hassan Rouhani, and the foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. But in his efforts to secure the release of the UK dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, it could be argued that he did not gain access to the inner state and revolutionary courts, the true decision-makers in her case.
Massive wildfire torches nearly 800 buildings and destroys 230,000 acres along coastline as firefighters battle the flames
Crews battling a massive wind-driven Californian wildfire that has torched nearly 800 buildings and charred 230,000 acres are bracing to protect towns near Santa Barbara menaced by flames along the stateâs scenic coastline.
The Thomas fire ignited last week and is burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, about 100 miles north-west of Los Angeles.
President Assad tells Russian leader Syrian people will ânever forgetâ Russiaâs help in driving Islamic State from country
Vladimir Putin has declared mission accomplished for Russian forces in the fight against Islamic State in Syria, as he made a surprise visit to the Russian airbase in the country.
âFriends, the motherland is waiting for you,â Putin told the Russian air force detachment based at the Khmeimim airbase during his visit on Monday morning. âYou are coming back home with victory.â
Between 1994 and 2013, nearly half a million people around the world died due to earthquakes, with another 118.3 million affected. A further 250,000 deaths resulted from subsequent tsunamis â chiefly in 2004 in the Indian Ocean â and more than 700 from ash fall.
Earthquakes affect every continent, though certain areas â the Pacific border of South America, the western coast of North America and Mexico, Alaska, south-eastern Europe, New Zealand and much of Asia â are especially prone. Though rarer than floods, they can cause devastating damage and large numbers of casualties very quickly. The Haitian earthquake in January 2010 killed an estimated 230,000 people, injured 300,000 and displaced 1.5 million from their homes. It also caused around $8bn of destruction, and its impacts are still being felt today.
A sun-baked Niemeyer treasure, a decaying Montana schoolhouse and a scary manmade cave are just some of the striking pieces shortlisted for the 2017 Art of Building photography awards. The winner will be announced in January
Forbidden from striking, officers in Montrealâs 4,600-strong police force wore non-regulation colourful cargo pants, checkered clown trousers and animal-print leggings in their three-year fight over pensions. They won a 20% pay rise
At the intersection of Saint Catherine Street and Bishop Street in downtown Montreal, it was hard to miss the group of police officers, standing outside the station, watching for jaywalkers. But the first thing you noticed was not the badges or the guns, but their fluorescent camouflage-print trousers.
Trapped between the Burmese army and the Chinese border, the stronghold of the Christian Kachin people is quietly gearing up for its first film festival
Laiza is a city under siege â sort of. On one side of this remote, mountainous but important settlement in Myanmarâs breakaway Kachin state lurks the dreaded Burmese army. On the other, marking the city limits, is the Chinese border. âPeople are worried,â says Dau Hku, an official with the rebel Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which controls Laiza as the de factocapital of its small and shifting breakaway territory. âEveryone knows we are within shelling range.â
In theory, the Burmese army â known as the Tatmadaw â could attack the city at any moment, and in theory, Laizans would have nowhere to run. Most people arenât officially allowed to cross the border into China.
In recognising Jerusalem as Israelâs capital, the US president has hindered the prospect of peace in the region
The relish with which Donald Trump signed the declaration recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel left me with a sense of cold resignation at the obduracy of the man. He was almost gleeful; the power he now wields enables him with the stroke of a pen to bring about historical changes to our suffering world. But I was neither surprised nor angry â those emotions having long since been spent.
I have lived under Israelâs occupation for 50 years and listened to many empty declarations while witnessing the Jewish settlements expand, destroying our beautiful landscape and rendering us Palestinians strangers in our own land. Israel has never had to be concerned about the formal positions that the US observed, which considered it an occupier of the territories, including East Jerusalem, it has held since 1967, nor by the oft-repeated position that the Israeli settlements are illegal. This was because these formal positions were never followed by any implementation on the part of the US.
MPs warn foreign secretary against pursuing investment in country with poor record on corruption and human rights, ahead of controversial London summit
Boris Johnson has come under fire over Britainâs stance on trading with Sudan ahead of a controversial forum due to take place in London on Tuesday.
A group of MPs have signed a letter to the foreign secretary warning the government against pursuing investment in a country rife with corruption and where the president is wanted for human rights violations.
Prime minister says itâs âabsurdâ to say he is anti-Beijing as poll shows parties are neck and neck in Bennelong byelection
Malcolm Turnbull has declared an Australian prime minister with a Chinese granddaughter cannot be anti-Beijing, and he has branded any suggestion to the contrary âoutrageousâ and âabsurdâ.
In a combative performance on the ABCâs Q&A program on Monday night, Turnbull rejected a suggestion that Australiaâs intelligence agencies could have leaked details of a private conversation between the Labor senator Sam Dastyari and the Chinese businessman Huang Xiangmo, and insisted that when it came to combating Chinese interference in this country, Australia was entitled to stand up for its sovereign interests.
European council president Donald Tusk to tell EU summit that mandatory quotas have been âdivisive and ineffectiveâ
The EU could scrap a divisive scheme that compels member states to accept quotas of refugees, one of the blocâs most senior leaders will say this week.
The president of the European council, Donald Tusk, will tell EU leaders at a summit on Thursday that mandatory quotas have been divisive and ineffective, in a clear sign that he is ready to abandon the policy that has created bitter splits across the continent.
Residents near the worldâs fourth largest hydroelectric power plant say the Belo Monte dam has made their houses prone to floods of waste water
A line on the wall of Carlos Alves Moraesâ house shows the highwater mark of the flood which hit his neighbourhood in August. Houses near the lagoon are built on stilts to protect against seasonal rains, but now, because of the dam, they are prone to flooding throughout the year, he says.
âWe spent 17 days in August living here with our feet under water,â he says.
Patients too poor to settle medical debts are chained to drainpipes, starved and abused in health centres across parts of Africa and Asia, report reveals
Hospitals are detaining hundreds of thousands of people against their will every year â many of them mothers and their newborn babies â simply because they are too poor to pay their medical bills, a study has found.
The practice, which is widespread across parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, sees patients chained to drainpipes, starved and abused, and forced to perform sexual acts in exchange for cash to pay off their bills, according to the paper published by Chatham House this week.
When a Sri Lankan family moved to the Gulf in search of a better life, they reckoned without stringent labour laws that would bring unspeakable grief
Holed up in an apartment on the seventh floor of a tower block in Sharjah, the family of five desperate Sri Lankans were racking up debts and disquiet at an alarming rate.
Unable to pay fines that had been mounting daily since their visas expired four years earlier, they felt trapped. The fatherâs passport had been withheld by an employer, which meant the 55-year-old could neither find work in the United Arab Emirates nor leave the wealthy Gulf state to seek employment elsewhere.
With nearly a million Rohingya driven out of Myanmar in what the UN has called textbook âethnic cleansingâ, Lucy Lamble hears about the situation on the ground in Bangladesh â and how the international community can help
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled their homes in Myanmarâs Rakhine state in the wake of a brutal offensive by the Burmese army. Traumatised men, women and children with horrific stories have arrived in Bangladesh, and NGOs and the Dhaka government are struggling to cope.
Lucy Lamble is joined by Dr Champa Patel, head of the Asia Programme at Chatham House, and Asif Saleh, senior director of communications, strategy and empowerment, from Brac, an NGO working in Bangladesh and beyond, to discuss the humanitarian situation in Coxâs Bazar and the politics of the crisis.
I was extremely hesitant to share my immigration status, and my sexuality â but I did it, and Iâm stronger for it. I say to others like me: you are not alone
Put yourself in my shoes for a moment.
Youâre a child. Youâre five years old. You leave the country you were born in for another. Youâre with your mother, and all you have is a few belongings, the promise of seeing your father again, and the hope for a better tomorrow.
Two days after Americaâs closest allies denounced it in the United Nations, a day after an Israeli air strike killed two in Gaza and hours after protests erupted near the US embassy in Lebanon, Donald Trumpâs ambassador to the UN relayed his message to the world: âThe skyâs still up there. It hasnât fallen.â
Inequality predicts homicide rates âbetter than any other variableâ, says an expert â and it is linked to a highly developed concern for oneâs own status
A 17-year-old boy shoots a 15-year-old stranger to death, apparently believing that the victim had given him a dirty look. A Chicago man stabs his stepfather in a fight over whether his entry into his parentsâ house without knocking was disrespectful. A San Francisco UPS employee guns down three of his co-workers, then turns his weapon on himself, seemingly as a response to minor slights.
These killings may seem unrelated â but they are only a few recent examples of the kind of crime that demonstrates a surprising link between homicide and inequality.
Four people were reported as injured in an explosion in the Manhattan area of the city on Monday. The incident happened at around 7:20am local time in a passageway between the 42nd Street Times Square station and the New York Port Authority
The US ambassador to the UN has said women who accuse President Donald Trump or anyone else of sexual harassment or assault 'should be heard'. Speaking to the CBS programme Face the Nation on Sunday, Nikki Haley added: 'Women should always feel comfortable coming forward and we should all be willing to listen to them'
A ferry carrying more than 200 passengers has become stuck in windy conditions in Calais, the local government said on Sunday. The Pride of Kent, which was bound for Dover at about midday, is believed to have run aground on a sandbank in the harbour
Horses at the San Luis Rey training centre in San Diego fled from their enclosure as wildfires engulf the area. Volunteers loosened the fence of a pen enclosing the animals who quickly ran away, panicked by the thick smoke
Iraq has formally declared its fight against Islamic State over after three years of heavy combat. Isis has been driven from all the territory it once held in the country, the prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, announced in Baghdad on Saturday, although surviving militants are widely expected to launch a guerrilla war