Is Trying Harder Part of Your Problem?

mark hoverson aaron rashkin debbie turnerI recently had the opportunity to meet Aaron Raskin at a private VIP party hosted by Jonathan Budd at his Unstoppable Entrepreneur event in San Diego, CA.  

We met up again on the Houseboat for Hoverson's Info Marketing Blueprint contest winners.   

Pictured:  Mark Hoverson, Aaron Rashkin and myself. 

Aaron's a successful marketer and I greatly respect what he's accomplished.   I was visiting his blog the other day and was drawn to a post he wrote.  I wanted to share it here with you because it touches on an all too common problem. 

I think so many people think just "trying harder" is the key to success when things aren't going as planned or when they keep hitting a brick wall doing the same thing, but just going at it with more gusto.  Does this sound familiar?

The solution may be to try a different route, change a direction, change up the way you're doing things, not just simply try harder.   Here's the deal… No matter how hard you try to fit a square peg into a round hole, it ain't gonna fit! 

Aaron's recollection of a story he read makes a great point and illustrates perfectly what happens when we just try harder.

Enjoy.  (Oh, and at the end of the post I have a link to Aaron's blog so you can connect with him, read other great posts and say hi.)

========== start Aaron's blog post ======================

Several years ago, I picked up a great book by a guy named Price Pritchett called YOU Squared, the Quantum Leap Strategy.

Pritchett tells a true story about how he was sitting in a quiet room at the Millcroft Inn, a peaceful little place hidden back among the pine trees about an hour out of Toronto.

He writes, "It's just past noon, late July, and I'm listening to the desperate sounds of a life-or-death struggle going on a few feet away.

There's a small fly burning out the last of its short life's energies in a futile attempt to fly through the glass of the windowpane. The whining wings tell the poignant story of the fly's strategy – try harder. But it's not working.

The frenzied effort offers no hope for survival. Ironically, the struggle is part of the trap. It is impossible for the fly to try hard enough to succeed at breaking through the glass.

Nevertheless, this little insect has staked its life on reaching its goal through raw effort and determination.

The fly is doomed. It will die there on the windowsill.

Across the room, ten steps away, the door is open. Ten seconds of flying time and this small creature could reach the outside world it seeks. With only a fraction of the effort now being wasted, it could be free of this self imposed trap. The breakthrough possibility is there. It would be so easy.

Why doesn't the fly try another approach, something dramatically different? How did it get so locked in on the idea that this particular route, and determined effort, offer the most promise for success? What logic is there in continuing until death, to seek a breakthrough, with "more of the same"?

No doubt this approach makes sense to the fly. Regrettably, it's an idea that will kill.

"Trying harder" isn't necessarily the solution to achieving more. It may not offer any real promise for giving what you want out of life. Sometimes in fact, it's part of the problem.

If you stake your hopes for a breakthrough on trying harder than ever, you may just kill your chances for success.

Here's Aaron's blog post

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Your Thoughts Below?


  1. says

    Hey Debbie!
    Thanks for re-posting.
    It was a pleasure meeting you as well in San Diego and then again on the house boat. We should def see each other at future events and connect again soon for sure.
    Great blog too!

  2. says

    Hello Debbie! Fantastic real original post. I like your thoughts and I will have to order: YOU Squared, the Quantum Leap Strategy. I'm going to check out your YouTube Channel. Keep it up! : )

  3. says

    I have to say that I agree with this post 100%. So many people keep banging their head against the wall thinking that somehow if they kill themselves working enough it will all pan out.
    The truth is that if you don't have the knowledge or certain skills, you will just be doing like the fly was doing.
    Most people are too proud to reevaluate what they're doing. If only they got their ego out of the way maybe they would see the light. Other people just don't know any better.
    Taking time off to re-evaluate all things is very important.
    Thanks for this reminder.
    All the best,

  4. says

    I love story telling and analogies! This is all too common in life – there is a way right over there (to get out of an abusive relationship, gain health [drop a few pounds], find a better job, etc, yet some people continue to cycle through the same motions and EMOTIONS day in and day out.
    Thanks for sharing this post Debbie. I love how simple and short this story is. Straight to the point!
    -Jaclyn Castro

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