"If it ain't broke don't fix it."
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. This is a popular phrase that in many ways makes sense. For example if you a have a well-proven process of making money don’t mess with it. You could lose all your money if you break the system by trying to fix what isn’t broken. If you have a great marriage because you schedule date night every week and you communicate well there’s no need to change anything. You don’t want to cause strife in your marriage by trying an unnecessary fix. If you have a good job, making good money there’s no need to stick your neck out and take a risk. Making an unnecessary change could cause you to lose your pension or your guaranteed retirement.
However the use of this phrase can actually cause you unnecessary harm. Let’s break down the phrase to explain how. First the term broke should not be taken literally. When it comes to life there are a lot of things that aren’t technically broken but they are subpar or underachieving. Unless you have set a goal and specifically defined what is considered success and what is considered failure it is hard to say something is broken. If your business is making money it is hard to say it is broken. If your marriage is surviving and no one is considering divorce it is hard to say it is broken. If you are successful enough to keep your job it is hard to say it is broken.
Second saying you are going to fix something has the connotation that something is wrong with the thing you are fixing. The thing that you are fixing doesn’t necessary have to be broken but it has to be somehow flawed. You can’t fix something if it is perfectly aligned. You can’t fix something if it is flawless. You can only fix something that has opportunity to be improved. It doesn’t have to be completely broken but it must be off in some way. There must be room for improvement in order for you to put in the fix. However if you don’t see anything wrong with the situation then in your mind there is nothing to be fixed. You know nothing is perfect. You know nothing is truly flawless. So to you the biggest determining factor is whether or not you see something wrong.
You Have So Much Potential
So let’s discuss how using this phrase can potentially cause you harm. Let’s say your business is consistently pulling in $500 a month in gross profit. If this is your side hustle that money could be a nice addition to your 6 figure corporate salary. You could have worked pretty hard to just to get to that number and now it is finally working. You could decide to continue what you are doing because it is working especially if you initially set out just to make some extra money on the side. You could decide to use the phrase, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Because you don’t see anything wrong you won’t take any risks. You will continue doing what you are doing and you will never see the $10,000 a month your business could really make.
If you are married let’s say you and your spouse have developed a routine that seems to work for both of you or at least you think it works for both of you. That routine includes going out every now and then when you have the energy to do so. The routine also includes a family vacation once a year to relax and unwind. It works for the both of you and no one is thinking about divorce. Years can go by while you continue this routine. You could continue unknowing that just a few changes to that routine could return the both of you to that feeling you had when you were freshmen in college and head over heels with each other.
Punching your clock on time and getting your responsibilities completed as planned are great ways to guarantee your employment. Your dedication and commitment to getting the job done makes you a very valuable employee that no employer would want to lose. Yet if you decided to be more vocal about changes you see need to be made you could move to a leadership position that you thoroughly enjoy. You might find your true calling and excel to heights that were previously unimaginable.
In all of the cases above if you take the attitude if it ain’t broke don’t fix it you harm yourself by preventing yourself from excelling. You may not see it as harm because you think harm has to hurt. You can’t feel pain from something you never had so if that is your definition of harm you are correct. However, I call it harm because you have prevented yourself from feeling something that cannot be described, it can only be felt. You can only feel something when it actually happens; otherwise you are just imagining what it can feel like. Unfortunately your imagination will not give that feeling its true justice. You can imagine what it’s like to make hundreds of thousands of dollars on a side gig but you won’t know how outstanding it feels until you do it. You can imagine what an excellent marriage is like but that won’t compare to what it actually feels like. You can imagine being VP at your company but you will never know how humbling and exceptional it feels until you actually do it.
Your One Shot
You only get one shot at this life. Because it is your life you can choose to live it however you like. You can decide to get good at something and then push cruise control. You can have a good life and that is nothing to balk at. There are many people out there that wish they could have a good life. However, you can also decide that good is not enough. You can decide you want to be exceptional. You aren’t deciding that because you are greedy either. You are deciding that because you realize your potential and you want to reach that potential. You want to feel that unknown feeling of being at the top of your game. You want true fulfillment from life. You want the fairy tale. You want the financial freedom. You want to go to work everyday with a smile on your face because you know you have found your true calling. So you have a choice right now. You can choose to believe in the old adage; if it ain’t broke don’t fix it or you can keep trying to work on things even though they are good. You may be only a few steps away from greatness but you will never know if you don’t try.
Life is a journey and some of the fruits of your labor will not be immediately seen. Drew’s Reminders is an example of a daily habit that yields long term results and there are many more. Personally I don’t believe in the old adage; if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I do believe if it ain’t broke don’t break it. Well you can break it if you make sure that you replace it with something bigger and better. You will only be able to do that by taking action. You will have to decide what action you are going to take and then take it. Take it over and over again until you get the results that you desire. You want to feel something you’ve never felt before and the only way to do that is to take action. Get out of your comfort zone. Start a new habit. Make the phone call. Speak out in the meeting. Read the book. Write the book. Whatever you action is just take it and trust that you will be happy with the results. As always I wish you the best and remind you to enjoy the journey.