Out of the old groove to get groovy

We’ve heard it: “If you do what you did, you will get what you got.” 

So after 50 years, what if we do need to get something else? 

That’s a long time to get comfy with patterns and grooves — some probably not so groovy. Something’s gotta change. 

You’re probably not going to start liking anchovies or sleet or discovering an instinct for coding (I wish) or a talent for opera. We all discoed to Gloria Gaynor’s “I Am What I Am.” We still are who we are. So what can change?   

Melissa Hobley, chief marketing officer at OkCupid, offers four tips on The Relentless Podcast at Slate.com. 

Her first tip is Defy Mediocrity. Nobody aims for mediocrity, but it can be a habit. And it takes everything we have to defy it in a competitive world. (I have to admit some of my grooves are mediocre!) Many of us suffer from being praised for mediocrity and then being shocked into reality by the marketplace’s judgment. In the real world, only results get rewarded. We defy mediocrity by getting results.  

Her next tip is an old saw: Know your Target. The nuance now is to know how your target changes from day to day. If we are in the marketplace, we have to constantly wonder about the target and freshly inform our work with new data. 

Then she says, Push Through the No’s (her apostrophe). This one pushes an old button — fear of rejection — that has kept me off the mountaintop. It’s a huge opportunity for rapid growth, especially as we care less about people’s judgment as we age. 

And finally, she advises, Refresh and Evolve. If ever there were a mantra for boomers, that is it. Get out of that comfortable chair, my peers, and move into the present and the future without a glance in the rearview mirror. Our road can take us to the promised land before the sun sets; if we push the gas instead of the brakes (and stop the metaphors) we have exciting days ahead. 

These are my take on Hobley’s list. See hers at Slate.com. If we still have aspirations, we can’t afford to “do what we did.”

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