Enhance Productivity and Efficiency with Stephen’s Innovation Insights

Innovation Insights by Stephen Shapiro


As many of you know, my sister (Deborah) and her husband (Gary) sold their house and are now traveling the country in an RV for the next year. Gary sells cancer insurance door to door as they make their way across the states (yes, he knocks on people’s doors) . The idea is to integrate his work with their desire to be on “vacation” every day. They have now been on the road for four months, traveling from Chicago, across to Maine, down the coast to Georgia and Florida.

I bet you think this sounds like an incredible opportunity. It is. But opportunities are not necessarily reality.

Although they created this once in a lifetime trip, they have not capitalized on what is possible.

Old habits have surfaced. Instead of exploring, they have settled into their old habits. Each day in their RV looks pretty much the same as it did when they lived at home: work, dinner, wine, TV, sleep.

In her blog entry on “Turning the Extraordinary into Ordinary,” Deborah describes her daily routine and makes a brilliant observation:

As exciting as cross-country travel could be, has consistency and predictability become more of a priority? Although Gary and I are in the 4th month of our trip, over 1/3 complete, we are still waiting for the trip to begin.”

This is our natural tendency. We seek out the familiar. We play it safe to protect what we have and know.

We are waiting for life to begin. The five most dangerous words are: “I will be happy when…”

We convince ourselves that our happiness lies in the future. That life will be great when we lose 10 pounds, when we get married, when we have more money, or when we have a high-status job.

It’s not true. Happiness lies in the present. Now.

Every day we are presented with opportunities. Most of them are not as obvious as a 365 day vacation. Many are subtle; somewhat hidden from view. Find these opportunities. Take advantage of them. Play full out…today.

Do not wait for your trip to begin.

  1. It seems like Deborah and her husband Gary have an advantage that many do not. They already recognize the behavior patterns that are dictating their actions. Granted, knowing why something is happening is not the same as changing it but it’s a good place to start.

    Certainly, the tools and resources available on this (Stephen Shapiro’s) web site can guide this couple from ordinary to extraordinary.

    Deborah and Gary, access the knowledge and take action, stop looking where you were so you can enjoy where you are going.

    Jonathan Wells

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