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Driving the Same Route Expecting Different Results

This post is about ‘growth mindset’ versus ‘fixed mindset’, about challenging myself to stop doing the same things and expecting different results and training myself to be uncomfortable. There is an app for that…sorta!

I live on the polar opposite side of Winnipeg in relationship to our office. When I first started with the company I work for, back in Sep 2014, I tried various routes to the office and kept changing it up until I found the fastest route (growth). It didn’t take long for me to settle into a habitual driving routine (fixed); the exact same route set in stone.

Flash forward to today. I FLEX and work from home a fair amount and strategically plan my office visits to avoid driving during rush hours. Believe it or not, in little OL’ Winnipeg rush hours, I can be stuck in traffic 60-90 mins. I can make it to the office or back home in 35 minutes flat during off-peak hours. Yet, I still have the exact same route set in stone (fixed).

A few weeks back a colleague mentioned an IOS app to me called WAZE. It’s a GPS app that is different from what I have traditionally used; Google Maps or Apple’s built-in maps. She raved about the fact she could see areas of congestion, and as more and more people use the app, it can re-direct your route to speed up your drive times; the power of crowds and Artificial Intelligence.

Intrigued, I downloaded the app and decided to leave the office during a peak evening rush hour, knowing that just the previous week I had a grueling 90 min drive. Wow. I was all of sudden uncomfortable. I have always left the parking lot the same way, which I thought was the fastest route. Wrong! WAZE gave me 3 minutes back by exiting a different way and conducting a legal U-turn within 100 yards. I can honestly say, I felt a little silly that for over 2 years I didn’t know this and allowed myself to get stuck in an inefficient routine. At that point, I was fully committed to seeing this drive home through completely trusting the technology, no matter where it would take me.

5 minutes: Hey, I’m driving the same route… I must be smart.

8 minutes: WAZE tells me to turn up Broadway. I wanted to resist, as my brain was yelling at me that Broadway is always bumper to bumper at this time of day! I relented and took Broadway. I was WRONG again, sailed right through downtown Winnipeg saving at least 10-15 minutes.

22 minutes: At the end of Broadway, why am I turning right and going over the bridge, when I can turn left and take Provencher? It’s RIGHT there! Frustrated, but committed, I turned right and… Oh geez, traffic is moving way faster than on Provencher Blvd.

This happened over and over again until I was home.

Long story short, I made it home in just over 40 mins during peak rush hour, which surely would have taken me at best 60 minutes or more with my usual route. SUCCESS! Yes, it was uncomfortable at first, but success has a funny way of overriding short-term pain. Sitting in my driveway smiling, I thought to myself, “What else am I too comfortable with?”



PS. In case you want to give it a try, here is the link to Waze: GPS Navigation, Maps, Traffic & Directions by Waze Inc.