Is It Better, or Just Different?

We sat freezing at our son’s baseball game tonight. It was as if the arctic wind had swung north, defied the fundamentals of meteorology and settled down in Cincinnati for a bit.

OK – to be completely transparent, it was 55 degrees.

55 degrees! A few months ago that would have been downright balmy. I still remember making the trip to speak in Houston in the middle of February. It was 50 degrees out, and I thought I’d take a nice stroll down to the Starbucks to grab a cup of joe in my shorts and t-shirt. To my surprise, the Houstonians (Houstonese? Houstonites?) were mostly wrapped up in winter garb, hats and scarves. I tried explaining that I’d just flown in from Cincinnati, where temperatures were presently in the single digits, but it was no use. I stood out like a penguin in a steam room.

So here’s the thing: is 55 degrees (a) nice and warm or (b) cold and miserable? Yes. Both. It depends on the context.

When the weather was consistently freezing, 55 degrees seemed very comfortable. But lately the weather has been quite warm, so 55 degrees seems very cold in comparison.

In life we often make quick decisions based on “temperature changes” in work, in relationships or in our personal pursuits. It can be tempting to jump to something shiny and new because we’ve been in an especially cold season and we’d love a little warmed. Even relative warmth will do.

But once the season changes, we realize that the thing we were chasing wasn’t the thing we really wanted. It was just different, not really better. We’re stuck wearing our shorts and t-shirt at the Starbucks, and everyone is staring.

So is there a decision you’re in the midst of right now? I ask – is it better, or just different?

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I'm Todd Henry.

I'm Todd Henry.

I write books, speak internationally on productivity, creativity, leadership, and passion for work, and help people and teams generate brilliant ideas. More

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I write books, speak internationally on productivity, creativity, leadership, and passion for work, and help people and teams generate brilliant ideas.

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