Thoughts on Pivoting

2 minute read

I’ve had a few things happen lately where a willingness to adapt to changing circumstances has led to faster results and ultimately wins. Speaking in the context of achieving a goal, in a moment of reflection after another step toward a big win, I realized and appreciated my willingness to acknowledge that my current path was antithetical to achieving the goal I was trying to achieve. But by using new knowledge, information, and pivoting strategy I’ve been able to continue to progress toward the goal, almost with ease.

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Over time I’ve learned that a willingness to pivot is crucial. It isn’t important to just pivot though - pivoting faster generally leads to better results.

Which makes sense. If we’re heading in the wrong direction and either don’t acknowledge it, don’t know it, or worse don’t want to acknowlege it, then we will continue down a path further and further from our goal.

Of course, the key is knowing your goal. Pivoting isn’t about changing your goal as much as it is about making course corrections as you gain knowledge or new information, and ideally those course corrections are keeping you pointed toward the goal.

Accepting that is hard. We try to control our environments, emotions, and everyone around us. In many ways we’re hardwired to have control over environments (look at what we humans do to the Earth to build civilization).

But at a deeper level, pivoting and adaptation is consistent with the old adage that “Everything changes. Nothing stays the same”. The more we try to control, and the longer we try to control it, the more likely we are to deviate from the path to our goal.

I wasn’t always like this. In my younger days I tried to control everything. It was intense. It required a lot of energy to stay on top of everything in my life, which wasn’t good for my health - or anyone around me. It’s a stressful way to go about the world, and while it can work, I learned it leaves a needlessly damaging wake for yourself and others.

Not that what I’m advocating here is bohemian by any means. It’s still intense, but instead of trying to control the environment, I control my reaction to the environment.

Interestingly I’ve been told at times that I’m not “taking charge” enough as if I was apathetic to the goal. Of course, the people saying such things don’t realize that I’m very much “taking charge” - I’m just not bulling my way around the world. Of course, sticking with the theme here I shrug emoji these types of comments right off arrive at the goal my way.

Over time I’ve learned that everything is malleable. Everything can be negotiated. Everything can be changed. Nothing is fixed.

It’s a core world view that I’ve come to appreciate more and more, and I wanted to share my thoughts after recent reflection on successes.

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