Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law. – Douglas Hofstader

People often ask what they’re doing wrong when they’re not getting the results they want. They usually haven’t considered that it’s not their work that they’re doing wrong, but rather the goals they’ve set that’s the problem.

Do you ever get frustrated about coming back to the ground after you jump? Probably not – we have a deep understanding of gravity and know we’ll come back down before we jump.

So many people try new things and don’t understand the gravity of the dimension they’re in.

Changing a habit that you’ve unconsciously cultivated for the last few decades is hard. Your brain is hardwired to repeat the same pathways – whether it’s an action or belief – until new pathways are formed. There’s gravity and inertia behind a stimulus triggering a certain response.

Launching a new offer to a small audience is unlikely to make you 6 figures. There’s a lot you can do to get better results – and it’s always possible – but the gravity of economics and business are always there.

New leaders and managers join an organization and expect to make a quick change. Sorry, there’s gravity there, too. Real change takes a while.

If you’re wondering what you’re doing wrong, perhaps it’s time to take a look at the results you expect. Perhaps what’s missing is clearer and more realistic goals and the patience to let your work bear fruit. Quite often, the missing ingredient is time.

Two questions to ponder:

  • If it took you four times as long to get the results you expect, would you still want to continue what you’re doing?
  • What good results are happening that you’re discounting? They’re always there, but, like the air, we’ve learned to look through them and instead focus on other things.

Originally published at productiveflourishing.com


  • Charlie Gilkey

    Author, Speaker, Business Strategist, Coach

    Charlie Gilkey helps people start finish the stuff that matters. He's the founder of Productive Flourishing, author of the forthcoming Start Finishing and The Small Business Lifecycle, and host of the Productive Flourishing podcast. Prior to starting Productive Flourishing, Charlie was a Joint Force Military Logistics Coordinator while simultaneously pursuing a PhD in Philosophy. He lives with his wife, Angela, in Portland, Oregon.