Sure, smart people are working hard to launch expeditions to Mars, transition to electric and/or self-driving cars, and to disintermediate everything (Zipcar, Uber, Air BnB, etc). World-changing stuff.
That takes smarts and resources and willpower and drive and commitment and influence and the ability to see things that aren’t there.
There’s also tremendous power in simply seeing things as they are. And then figuring out a clever way to hack the system.
When you take the trouble to understand how things work, why they work a certain way, and how people behave in and around them, you begin to see new possibilities.
Paying attention leads to innovative thinking, which leads to shortcuts. And…
One clever move can produce a big leap.
If you know your environment and you know your objective, you can look for small but highly leveragable insights. Then, you can use these to advance things faster and more efficiently.
A simple example is trying to get your work done in a busy office environment.
You know you need to work on the report, but you also know that you’re likely to be interrupted by phone calls, emails, and people dropping by. The breaks in concentration caused by all those interruptions are a problem.
You can get mad and frustrated because it’s impossible to change the environment or the need to get the report done.
Or you can hack the system. You can block out a “meeting” on your calendar. Then, you can use that time to do the work that needs to be done. You can even book a conference room if you need to.
This small but clever workaround will go a long way toward meeting an important goal.
Being disconnected for an hour may seem weird in this day and age, but it’s also weirdly empowering.
If you’re out of the habit of working this way, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in an hour of focused time.
The same idea can be scaled up to bigger objectives and larger environments. Look for the hack. Look for the shortcut.
Look for a way to “beat the system” without necessarily changing the rules but by working within them, around them, or by leveraging them in new or unexpected ways for greater gain.
You won’t always find a shortcut, at least not right away. But building a habit of constantly looking for shortcuts will help you to see more of them over time.
“The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath.”
— W. C. Fields