Strong Routines, Strong Identities

Day 321 Week 47 Q4  Thursday, November 17, 2022

Creative Outliers, have you taken the time to develop a strong routine to support your strong identity? I am assuming since you are creative and therefore have a lot of imagination, that you can be many different people and play many different roles. And that with a nearly infinite set of options greeting you every day, you have to choose exactly what you want to do and how to do it.

I am wondering if it has occurred to you that without converging upon a fairly strong identity concept or target identity, then it can be difficult to determine exactly what behaviors you need to perform at any given moment.  Are you the one in the room who tends to generate so many options that others melt down? I was once told by a close associate after a thoroughly enjoyable expensive articulation of my latest “insights” at a staff meeting I was running, “so are these ideas to act upon or just to consider? As I was reveling in the expression of ideas and possibilities, I was confusing everyone in the room about whether they should be changing course or not.  My Bad!

If you can do it to others, you can do it to yourself just as well. You may think that you love having lots of ideas and potential directions and projects, and I am sure we all do. But there can be a lot of wasted time shifting gears.

Here is where the notion of strong routines comes in; if you habituate some behaviors, then the overhead associated with performing them dramatically shrinks. Habits are nothing but automated behaviors. If you knew what you had to do, then turning these into habits saves a to of time and a lot of heartaches.   

But if you do not have a very solid and strong identity, then how do yo know which behaviors to habituate? Some would argue that is what project management is for, identify goals and break them down into milestones and then further into tasks and “badda-boom-badda-bing,” you are all set. You have a plan and a set of tasks and execute them. 

But what if these behaviors are not consistent with your identity? It will be very difficult to perform them, which is why I think a strong identity has to come before strong behaviors, routines or habits. Until you have a firm and realistic target identity, you can not articulate meaningful goals, for they will not necessarily be consistent with who you think you are.

Yes, I know the world tends to be goal-oriented and then attempt to manage projects to achieve these goals but I am unimpressed for the vast majority of goals are not achieved especially when talking out creative outliers which simply have too many options or at least many more options the those who are not creative outliers. 

If you are a creative outlier, it is imperative to understand who you are and who you want to be, for until that strong identity is identified, how can you possibly know what strong routines to create? You might even create goals and behaviors that are inconsistent with who you are and who you want to be, and then you will be wasting your time (and everyone else’s).

So yes, we do need strong routines to archive clear goals, but without a strong, clear identity, these goals will remain, like the majority of goals declared by most people, unattained. Remember, in a race, everyone has the same goal – to win. But only one person wins. And the person is the one whose behaviors have been turned into routines or habits that support the desired outcome, but these have to be consistent with your identity.

This is BIG – Behaviors are informed by Identity before Goals can be meaningful.  Think about it.