The timeless principles are timeless for a reason: they’ve stood the ultimate test, the test of time. Time has a way of sorting the wheat from the chaff.
But some don’t understand that the big principles, the enduring truths, are what really matter. They want something new. If something isn’t novel, they say, “Not interesting. Nothing new here.”
But there is only one story. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl’s heart. Or a variation on the theme: Man faces nature, man is challenged to survive, man overcomes challenge. In every case, the protagonist’s character is challenged.
It’s the challenge of embracing the big, timeless principles to become what we might become. That’s the story.
All great works are an interpretation of some enduring principle or idea. They’re the principle viewed through one person’s lens. This is what and how great teachers teach. Stephen Covey didn’t invent the Seven Habits. He wrote them down. Tom Peters didn’t invent excellence. He wrote down his observations (still is, in fact). Warren Bennis didn’t invent leadership. He interpreted it. Charlie Green didn’t invent trust. He wrote down some of the observable rules.
Those that seek shortcuts, get-rich-quick, lose-weight-fast solutions love novelty. They are always searching for the next “next” thing. But by doing so, they lose themselves in a search that can only lead them back to where they started. These novelty-seekers want to become what they might become without having to wrestle with the great, timeless principles. They want the results without having to develop the character.
In the end, there is no character development in tactics. There is no journey made up of shortcuts. There haven’t been any secrets of success for a very, very long time.
There’s nothing new here.
In what areas do you seek novelty?
What timeless principle are you avoiding?