[tweetmeme source=”cbyndas” only_single=false]The renowned French Naturalist, Jean-Henri Fabre, in an experiment with processionary caterpillars was able to entice them on to the rim of a large flowerpot. Processionary caterpillars move through the forest in a long procession feeding on pine needles. They derive their name from their habit of following a lead caterpillar, each with its eyes half closed and head fitted snugly against the rear end of the preceding caterpillar.
Fabre succeeded in getting the lead caterpillar to connect up with the last one, creating a complete circle, which moved around the pot in a never ending procession. He thought that after a few circles of the pot, the caterpillars would discover their predicament or tire of their endless progression and move off in another direction. But they never varied their movements.
Through force of habit, the caterpillars kept moving relentlessly around the pot at about the same pace for a period of seven days. They would have continued even longer if they had not stopped from sheer exhaustion and hunger. As part of the experiment, food had been placed close by in sight of the group, but because it was out of the path of the circle, they continued in their procession to what could have been their ultimate destruction.
In their procession around the pot, they were blindly following their instincts, habits, past experience, tradition, custom and precedent—the way they always had done things. In reality, they got nowhere. As the adage states, “It is a form of insanity to do the same things over and over and then expect different results.”
What a great lesson as we all move forward toward 2010! The New Year will bring many opportunities for those that are able to break away from old patterns of the past.
Your challenge may lie in attracting the top talent from a dwindling population of highly qualified professionals or on a more personal level positioning your career to take the next step. In either situation the right fit at the right time will be critical to finding success. We are on the edge of a new year, are you ready to open your eyes and break away from what has become routine?