Going In Circles

Going in circles is such a familiar expression.

This feeling that we’re putting in the work but never able to get ahead. As so brilliantly expressed by The Red Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking-Glass:

Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

-The Red Queen

I’ve reread this quote hundreds of times because it resonates with me so much. At first glance, it seems paradoxical. “It takes all the running you can do.” And, “You must run twice as fast as that!” Makes it sound like you’re trying to make 10 gallons of lemonade out of two lemons.

But really, we need to start thinking outside the box.

We need to take advantage of tools, leverage, and any other form of advantage we can manage.

Maybe it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place, but what happens if we build a skateboard? What about a bike? What if we pay someone else to run for us?

The original restraints still exist – It would take all the running you can do just to keep up. But you’ve leveraged a tool so that you no longer have to run.

And this is the crux of the issue. It’s so easy to get trapped inside the box. To think that the only thing that you can do is run. Trapped within the rules of the game. A mental barrier that prevents people from seeking alternative methods of success.

Perhaps you can be the greatest pilot, driver, architect, or climber. You’ll never know if you’re only willing to run.

Be willing to try new things and be open to experimentation.

Sometimes you have to work smarter, not harder.

The goal is to break out of the circle.

To turn it into a spiral, give it depth, and make upward progress.

So, here’s to spiraling, my friends!


That’s all for this one!

If you’re interested in reading more about The Red Queen Effect, check out this article from Farnam Street Blog

Have you been going in circles? Any ideas on how to turn it into a spiral? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

3 comments

  1. Tools help us accomplish what we need to when we use them in the right way. This is not necessarily the way they were originally designed either! Innovation breathes new life into creativity. Let’s make it happen.

    Thank you for your words.

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