Change things up to see new growth

Max DePree quoteI love to workout.  Exercising helps me relieve stress, stay healthy, and feel strong.  Usually, intense cardio classes or strength training workouts are the best fit for this Type-A personality.

Last week, however, I was feeling a bit run down figured a ballet class would be a good alternative from my usual workouts.  I’d heard it was pretty good and figured it wouldn’t be too strenuous.  Ha! Famous last words, right?

I was surprised at how much the class worked my muscles.  In fact, my poor legs felt like limp noodles going down the stairs after class.  The exercises worked my muscle groups differently than my usual activities, so I’m sure that’s why I was so sore the next day.  Changing things up a bit was leading to increased strength.

This principle of trying something different to achieve growth certainly applies outside the gym.  When I’m trying to learn a new skill or improve an existing one, it’s a bit awkward and painful at first.  However, it’s not too long before I start to see improvement and growth.

So, what are some practical ways to change things up for increased strength?

Here are a few ideas:

  • If you’re in an accounting role, go out to lunch with someone from the creative team.  Ask about their creative process and how they come up with new ideas for church videos and graphics.
  • Read a book or watch a webinar on a topic that’s not in your typical line of work.
  • Take an evening class to learn a new skill or enhance an existing one.

 

Here’s a challenge for you: Use one of the ideas listed above or come up with one of your own.  Do something different, learn something new and see how it impacts your day-to-day work.  It may stimulate new ideas or just refresh your energy levels.  Either way, it’ll be worth the effort.

What have you gained by trying something new? 

  • My best change was to start reading. I was one of those guys who averaged a book a year after high school until this year. Though I don’t retain every little nugget from everything I read, I can see how the habit of reading alone has helped.