Veteran writers, like William Faulkner, often advise young writers to “kill your darlings.” Stephen King wrote, “…kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” Notice that King said “kill” three times, but then, we are talking about Stephen King.
We have to take this stimulus to the real world. Rethink the routine we all live in. Revisit any (routine) “darlings” we have.
You are fired and being in shock, you think you should continue doing the same profession.
Your XX years of experience makes you feel safe, but your line of business disappears.
You shy away from proposing ideas to your incompetent line manager. You shy away for how many years?
You hear about the importance of on-going Learning, but you don’t go to any certified seminar.
You have changed 5 employers, but you still haven’t invested an hour to think if you can be a business owner.
Your Brand has failed to bring in the numbers, but you keep the same marketing, messaging, plan as last year (you know it well).
You’re pitching every time same sequence: strategy, creative, executions. Have you thought of pitching your solution as one line?
Your girlfriend needs more dialog and love time, but you’re so much more into the smartphone.
Your divorce legal plan is excellent, but you have no plan at all for your kids.
Your disposable income decreased, but your supermarket list stays the same. Habits rule.
In any personal, family, career, business, product, and social transitions, you have to “kill your darlings” from time to time. It’s a success recipe, in order to move upwards and be relevant.
Routine is a (known) ‘safety-net’. People resist change because it’s first about them. But they do finally change when they are brought down on their knees, or when found in a hard situation. In the on-going transformation, we will see thousands of changes and smaller disruptions.
One thing is clear: our “darlings” are like cement on our feet. We have to get rid of them. But how do you recognize a darling that needs to be removed? And where do you find the courage to remove it? Essentially, “darlings” are the beloved parts of our work/life/relation, that don’t advance our work/life/relations (although they repeat for years).
You need others to help you see the truth. We often find courage and wisdom in other people. An intelligent friend, or a colleague. When they look into your story, they appreciate the good parts, but they tell you the truth in your face (that’s good).
But most of the times, we have to do it on our shelves. In front of a mirror. Tellig things how they are. Brutally sincere, with the predisposition to do anew and innovate in our routine (improve things).
Saying no to your “darlings” (whatever you were repeating for 15+ years) will make you stronger. Adaptive. Flexible. Self-confident. Looking always in front. Doing so will make you less selfish – and ready for the on-going change in the next 20 years…