Is It Time for a Quantum Leap?

by Stephen Mills on September 19, 2009

Quantum Leap

Quantum Leap: an abrupt change, sudden increase, or dramatic advance

Sometimes trying harder isn’t the answer.  The power of compounding and accumulating small effort is undeniable and can produce astounding results over time.  That sometimes means a lot of effort.  Sometimes you can ascend a long way up the stairs one step at a time.  Eventually you are going to reach a point you cannot get past.  You may even discover that you are ascending the wrong staircase.  Sometimes you will find you are in a two story building and after going up one flight of stairs you can go no further.

Quantum leaps are possible in many areas of our lives, but we won’t experience them as long as we stay stuck in our familiar comfort zones.  A quantum leap does not occur when you are tweaking or pushing harder.  They occur when you back off and open your mind to completely new possibilities.  Quantum leaps are risky and scary.  You must leave your familiar zone and try something so dramatically different that you create new boundaries.

My Leap

When I started this blog I made a quantum leap.  I’d never written anything other than emails and business correspondence.  All of a sudden I was exposing myself through my writing to the whole world; I wish :-).  It might be a flop.  I might embarrass myself.  I would be open to to criticism and ridicule.  It was scary.

Becoming Competent

Over the last 6 months or so I have become what Seth Godin calls competent.  I’m in a comfort zone.  My subscribers and traffic have been steadily growing.  I’m pleased with the results.  I’ve become consistent and predictable.  I’ve become competent at being a blogger.

But I’ve also become a little restless.  Am I in a dip?  Do I need to just push through it to the other side in order to find that great success?  Or am I just going round and round in a Cul-De-Sac, destined to be just another mediocre blogger whose blog is eventually abandoned because it rand out of gas and died.  I’m I the fly at the windowpane? Do I need to make another quantum leap?  How do I know?

I don’t want to give up on a good thing just before the breakthrough, but I don’t want to fall into a rut and spend the rest of my days grinding the tracks deeper and deeper either.

I just read what I wrote and realized it sounds so depressing.  It’s NOT!  I’m not at all depressed or unhappy.  I’m not agonizing or sweating over it at all.  I’ve just been asking myself those questions lately.  They’ve been rolling around in my head.  I’ve reached a point where I need to make a decision.  I know I can’t make the wrong choice, so I’m just going to continue to ponder it for a bit and then choose.

What About You?

I didn’t intend for this article to be about me, not at all.  It went in a different direction than I had planned.  Those are the questions I’m asking myself and I’ve decided to leave them there and share them with you in the hope that you ask them of yourself.

Life is short.  It may be time for you to make a quantum leap.  Or it may be time for you to continue building up your account with compound interest.  Only you can answer that question.  Remember, no regrets.

Making a Quantum Leap

  • Stop trying harder and look for something simple.  A simple and elegant solution is a perfect way to make a quantum leap.
  • You aren’t building on previous steps.  You are making a fundamental change.  You are making a breakthrough leap.  Back off the struggle and let something fresh come into view.
  • Forget “common sense”.  You can’t do what makes sense or what is usual.  If you do what is common and usual you will get common and usual results.
  • The how of the quantum leap isn’t obvious or you would have done it already.  Let go of your limiting beliefs.  You need new boundaries, ones you can’t even imagine right now.
  • Break out of your routines.  Find something new, something completely different.  Your routines will keep you where you are at.  What’s working now is what keeps you on your current plane.  If you want to make a quantum leap you have to do something different, something improbable.
  • Quantum leaps are risky.  There is a significant risk that it won’t work out, but who cares?  You just make another leap until you find one that does work.
  • You are going to be uncomfortable.  If you are comfortable, you didn’t take a quantum leap.  No matter what happens you will learn a great deal.  You may discover something wonderful and new about yourself.
  • Let the answer come to you.  Get out of your own way and it will happen.
  • You can’t figure it all out ahead of time.  You have to take a leap and make adjustments as you go.  It’s going to be ambiguous and chaotic.  It’s going to be wild, fun, and scary all at the same time.  I’m a big believer in just doing and then figuring it out as you go.
  • Leap.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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{ 3 trackbacks }

Need a Nudge to Take a Quantum Leap? | Reed G Porter Online
September 20, 2009 at 8:49 am
Take a Timeout and Reset your Growth - DaveWitwicki.com
October 4, 2009 at 11:49 am
Making a Quantum Leap | Masterful Facilitation Institute
September 17, 2011 at 12:39 pm

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Positively Present September 20, 2009 at 7:31 am

Really powerful and thought-provoking post, Stephen. I can completely relate to what you’re saying about the blogging thing. I love reading your blog and I think you should stick with it… I always find new excitement around the blogging bend! 🙂 That being said, I think it’s important to ask ourselves some of the questions you’ve raised and to consider new ways to push ourselves. Maybe you should take blogging one step further and start writing other things… ebooks, books? That’s what I’m working on and it’s very fulfilling and adds a new dimension to the whole blogging thing!
.-= Positively Present´s last blog ..words to live by: just wanna be happy =-.

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Stephen Mills September 20, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Hi Dani and thanks a lot. I’ve been considering the e-book thing too. Maybe I’ll just carve out some time and do it 🙂

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Lisis | Quest For Balance September 20, 2009 at 7:45 am

That fish in the picture? That’s me right now. I’m just saying… but you already know that.

As for the main issue of this post… you know, when my blog was about 6 months old, I bought and read Seth Godin’s The dip, Purple Cows, and Tribes. They were all fantastic reads (of course) but really got me thinking about these things too.

Once you get your blog off the ground, find your voice, and hit a comfortable stride, then what? Not that everything has to be challenging but… what do we want to get out of this project? What is our purpose? Do we want to make money (in which case we need to invest a lot more time)? Do we want to help others? Are we just practicing our writing for when we write a book?

The answer, of course, varies with each blogger. The important thing, I guess, is for you to decide if the blog is a means to an end, or an end in itself.

In my case, I thought it was an end in itself. I thought I wanted it to be a huge money-making success. But after going through my little “dip” evaluation, I realized… my blog is where I share my heart and hope it helps other people (even just one or two people). My livelihood will come from somewhere else, some other project I can be passionate about.

With that in mind, I can now choose how I spend the bulk of my time. I don’t know if that helped you any, or made it more confusing.. but that’s my 2 cents. 🙂
.-= Lisis | Quest For Balance´s last blog ..How to Lose Your Worse-than-Useless Thoughts: Dispersal =-.

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Stephen Mills September 20, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Hey Lisis! I know that picture is you and your family. I’m really proud of you for taking the leap. Your comments always make “sense” 🙂 of course. Thanks!

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Reed Porter September 20, 2009 at 8:53 am

Again just the words I needed when I needed them. But, my quantum leap came from more of a new way of looking at my impasse and going at it from a different direction. So more of an epiphany, but it was this post that showed me the way (see the first bullet point).
.-= Reed Porter´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

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Stephen Mills September 20, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Hi Reed! That’s fantastic and thanks for stopping by to let us know.

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Jannie Funster September 20, 2009 at 11:10 am

Sometimes when you’re going ’round and ’round in that cul-de-sac is when you get your best thinking done, so that can serve a purpose too!

Me, in the words of Dory (the nutty fish,) from “Finding Nemo,” I’m gonna “just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” and in my own words I’m gonna just keep singing. And writing new songs.

And never give up!
.-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..Just Plain What The Heck? — Funny Keyword Searches, 5 =-.

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Stephen Mills September 20, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Hello Jannie, you might be right, but I would rather do my thinking on a beach than in a Cul-De-Sac :-). Thanks for stopping by and swimming with the fish.

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Mary September 20, 2009 at 1:06 pm

You are my daily friendly message that I so very much enjoy. I am n a personal quicksand of sorts….and I am looking ofr the way to get out . I am “fine” but facing empty nest, single in a toxic relationship, my dear mom died this summer and who KNEW it would depress me like this and unemployed. Geesh i sound awful!
BTW – i am a wonderful person and these things have all collided. This last week I have been physically ill and I told everyone that oh don’t worry, Monday I will be well. Today will be my day to finish being sick and moving on to energy and light. Thank you for your post. I would love to meet you someday!

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Stephen Mills September 20, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Mary, thank you so much for the encouragement. I’m truly sorry to hear about all your challenges. Feel free to email me via the contact form if there is anything I can do for you. 🙂

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Diggy - upgradereality.com September 20, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Heya Stephen!!

Thanks for such an honest and personal post! It’s always nice to hear the journey of fellow bloggers. I also went through something similar, not ever thinking that I could write, let alone for an audience. Lately Ive been working hard to gain subscribers and it’s paying off so I’m happy with that. 🙂

I think the biggest problem is not the blog design or content, it is about making enough people aware that you exist. Thats why soon im gonna make some upgradereality tshirts and videos and promote it offline too 🙂

Keep going stephen, youre doing great, and I enjoy your posts!!

Keep well!
Cheers!
.-= Diggy – upgradereality.com´s last blog ..5 Ways to Energize your Life =-.

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Stephen Mills September 20, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Hi Diggy, thanks for the comment. I can’t wait for the t-shirts 🙂

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Paul Colaianni September 20, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Every breakthrough I’ve had was usually preceded by a break down. The breakdowns were the point of “giving up” or letting go as you describe. They were ‘post-chaos’. Everything that I resisted happened. And I finally stopped resisting. And at that moment, a whole new world opens and I do things differently.

A friend once told me in order to really believe and know that there is this energy and God all around us, I have to have a mystical experience. So, that day, I asked the universe to give me one.

What I didn’t expect was a total breakdown of my current reality.
Thank God for that. The experience I had was undeniable and exactly what I didn’t expect. In the middle of nowhere, with what appeared to be nowhere to turn – unless I gave up everything I had. Which I did. And for that day, I’ll be forever grateful.

The quantum leap I took was indeed uncomfortable, and one of the most profound experiences of my life.

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Stephen Mills September 20, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Paul, that’s an amazing comment. Thanks for sharing it with us!

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Deb Owen September 20, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Boy, can I relate.

This happens not just with blogging, but other areas too. Things are going along just fine, but I’m ready for the next thing. Sometimes small steps are the way we move forward. Sometimes, ya just gotta jump.

I’ve done things in my life that people kept saying ‘I could never do that’ (moved to a city where I didn’t know anyone, started a business with a leap, etc)…they seem like the right thing for me and my life at the time and I know it.

If you’re driving around the cul-de-sac and aren’t sure, wait.
When you know, you’ll know. Then, leap…and the net will appear.

All the best!
deb
.-= Deb Owen´s last blog ..chasing greatness =-.

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Stephen Mills September 21, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Hi Deb, I like the way you put that; “leap… and the net will appear.” Thanks for your comments.

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alternaview September 20, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Great post and topic. I think that all quantum leaps happen when you decide 100% what you want to do and then honestly clear away any doubts that you will succeed.It really is about doing those things that are going to help remove those doubts that you may not even realize are there. Once you can figure out that formula, I think everything else can fall into place…still working on that myself. Thanks for the thoughts.
.-= alternaview´s last blog ..Doing all we can to live life impeccably… =-.

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Stephen Mills September 21, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Hi alternaview! Thanks for dropping in to comment. I never decide I want to do something 100% and that’s why it’s such a leap for me. I’m never sure and somehow if I was that might even take some of the fun out of it – some of the danger 🙂

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Jonathan - Advanced Life Skills September 20, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Hi Stephen, I am going to take a quantum leap by getting away for a few days and enjoying the coast. It might not seem like a big deal, but sometimes a few days of R&R can be hard to come by. As for you my friend, enjoy the calm because your next leap is just ahead.
.-= Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills´s last blog ..11 High Powered Personal Achievement Principles =-.

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Stephen Mills September 21, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Jonathan, I like that! I need to leap to the beach too 🙂 Thanks for coming by.

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Dragos Roua September 20, 2009 at 11:36 pm

Making a leap was most of the time a hidden process for me. On the visible side, I experienced sudden changes and the world seemed to flip upside down in a second. But after the change was frozen and I was safely on the new path I realized that what I perceived as being an out of nowhere switch it was in fact the result of small accumulations. It was a gradually shift which created the premise for the new world to emerge. Every time I had a huge breakthrough I realized that in fact I was building it unconsciously for a very long time.
.-= Dragos Roua´s last blog ..77 Tips For Starting An Online Business =-.

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Stephen Mills September 21, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Hello Dragos, good to see you here again. I think you are probably right about the unconscious processes operating up to the breakthrough. There’s a lot of brainpower there working on our problems for us. Just wish I could get a view of it sometimes 🙂

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Vin - NaturalBias September 21, 2009 at 7:24 am

Does being a mediocre blogger for eternity really matter if it’s something you enjoy and gain fulfillment from? I’m a pretty good tennis player and I love the game, but I’ll never be a pro player. Should I stop playing?

Would blogging be part of your ideal day if money were no issue? It would for me, and that’s why I’m still at it.

Your writing and ideas are certainly not mediocre. If it’s your traffic that you find mediocre, even the most popular bloggers have dealt with this for quite some time, often for longer than a year.

Perhaps you should reconsider how you’re evaluating the success of your blog. Do you really need a lot of traffic to enjoy blogging? Conversely, if traffic is going to remain a part of your evaluation, then as you know, you have to go beyond simply writing great articles and do something to lead more people to them. Perhaps this is where you need to increase your effort.

When I have thoughts like the ones you seem to be having, I do some reading about blogging and typically gain inspiration from generating new ideas to try. I have also taken several blogging courses which have definitely helped. Check out the 30 day series on how to improve your blog that Darren Rowse did at ProBlogger earlier this summer.

If you genuinely enjoy the writing and sharing of ideas, I think you should definitely give it more time!
.-= Vin – NaturalBias´s last blog ..The Stupidity of the Smart Choices Food Label =-.

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Stephen Mills September 21, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Hi Vin. If I stopped doing everything that I was mediocre at, I’d have a lot of free time 🙂 I am enjoying it and what is amazing is how much I am learning myself by trying to organize my thoughts into something coherent in these articles. Thanks for the support!

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BunnygotBlog September 21, 2009 at 11:53 am

Wow this is powerful.

I made my leap by default,lol

There is no other way I can put it.
I left a great job that I was married to for six years. I was living, eating and working and never had time for me. The reason I left didn’t workout either.

After the word was out I resigned, I had a great offer at another company but decide it was time to establish my own business. A short time later, I met my husband. Boda bing boda boom

The leap was defiantly worth it.
.-= BunnygotBlog´s last blog ..Coco Chanel: Famous Quotes =-.

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Stephen Mills September 21, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Hi Bunny and thanks! I checked out those Coco quotes and I loved ’em. Great job.

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Walter September 21, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Your true test in your endeavor has just began. Don’t entertain the fact of cul-de-sac. Affirm your success, acknowledge you infinite capacity, then something will change. I know the feeling, so I’ve written a post to defy it. 🙂
.-= Walter´s last blog ..How to unleash your true capacity =-.

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Dave Witwicki September 21, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Unbelievable! You’ve eloquently put into words the thoughts and feelings that have been swirling through my head for the past couple of days. It’s comforting to know that these thoughts/feelings are not a bad thing but the sign of something bigger and better yet to come. Thank you for your wonderful insight! Keep up the good work…
.-= Dave Witwicki´s last blog ..Reach For The Top =-.

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Steven Aitchison September 22, 2009 at 12:30 am

Hi Stephen, this is a great, not mediocre!, article and has certainly got me thinking about the leaps I have had. I know what you mean about feeling like a mediocre blogger, however, as vin said, our definition of blogging success maybe slightly skewed – you have enjoyed success with the blog and have a good following but you are looking to expand. If you think that there are millions of bloggers in the world who will never experience the success you’ve had thus far – this thought always humbles me in my quest for more success.
.-= Steven Aitchison´s last blog ..What is Your Greatest Source of Personal Power? =-.

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LadyXandria August 10, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Wow… I so needed to read this right now, in this moment. Actually came here by accident because of the fish picture, lol. It’s funny how the universe gives us exactly what we need, when we need it. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

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