Nothing keeps going on its own


Change doesn’t come easy. It takes loads of time, energy, and sometimes money.

Seems simpler to just leave structures, routines, and ideas in place, but that takes energy too.

Only those things we don’t care about can continue on without our attention, and even then the order we once created will gradually fall away. The underlying principle is that of entropy—without adding energy to a system, it will never become more organized.

Put another way: it takes energy to keep things going. But what does that mean in concrete terms?

Ambitious change is a serious investment

The most enjoyable type of change involves things we’re looking forward to doing. Fresh ideas, an urge to do things differently, an innovative way of collaborating, promising new projects—they all can give you an enormous boost. But it’s still good to realize ahead of time that your plans come with a price tag. Bear in mind that all change is hard and we tend to think about it too lightly: “How hard could it be?”

Use that blind energy where you can to get off to a running start (fantastic!) Just be aware that your investment in moving one thing forward means other things inevitably get parked.  

Nothing keeps going by itself

At the end of last year, I started making plans for Rise. I talked it over with my wife: Am I really going to do this over the next few years? Building a new business from the ground up isn’t something you do on a rainy Sunday. Joàn and I realized we’d feel it at home.

At the same time, I’m now at another stage of my life. Even if I had the energy to work 80 hours a week these days, I wouldn’t. It would cut into precious time with my family.

As you take on new responsibilities and challenges, factor in the time and energy it takes to maintain other commitments.

Finding your focus may mean quitting something

There will always be more things we don’t do than things we do. Finding enough time isn’t even the main issue. It’s finding enough focus. And so you’ll have to decide not to do some things. To quit them altogether.

Walking away without first winding things down can come back to haunt you. At work or in your personal life, letting things bleed dry will usually go unnoticed, but not always. And then you can have a crisis on your hands.

We all know a good start is key, and wrapping things up well is no less important. It’s a chance to show what you’re made of. Although I knew that ending the GRIP Membership program last year was a good move, I would have preferred to just slip away, closing the door quietly behind me. But once I gave it some thought, it occurred to me that wrapping things up is an opportunity to show you can be trusted. And so I took the time to notify disappointed members and explain my choice and to compensate them.

Not. Fun. But the band-aid had to come off.

In short: Don’t presume things will automatically stay the way they are now. Chase what’s important to you and maintain what matters. Get more focused by wrapping things up honestly and with as much care and attention as you can muster. 

Good luck and have a good week!