The Backdoor to Breakthrough

Posted on June 6, 2023

Here’s my promise: You can make a quantum leap from you to “you squared.”

The leap can take you well beyond the next incremental step toward your goal, enabling you to skip several rungs on the achievement ladder. But this sort of uncommon performance calls for uncommon behavior.

Your first impulse may be, “I need to try harder.” For most people, that’s the common default mode, and chances are it might improve your game a bit. But that approach gives you slim odds for breakthrough success. Trying harder ordinarily produces only marginal progress. Gradual gains. If that’s enough—if that satisfies you—then fine. Go for it. Proceed with more of the same. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing with more energy and willpower.

But you can do so much better!

The you² handbook urges you to try differently, to rely on moves unlike your current modus operandi. That’s the backdoor to breakthrough, the shorter, faster, easier route to achieving your dream.

Yes, you need to try easier.

On the other hand, you need to care hard. Very hard. Your heart needs to be in the game. Fierce desire puts firepower behind your ambition, making you resourceful and bold enough to experiment with new approaches.

I did not write you² for the lazy, the slackers, the people who are only putting in a nickel but who want a dollar song. No. The quantum leap strategy of you² is for people with drive and a blockbuster goal that has stolen their heart. It’s for those who care enough to roam beyond their comfort zone so they can achieve exponentially better results.

Trying easier is all about breaking out of the cage where your habits hold you prisoner. It’s about disrupting your customary ways of thinking and challenging your assumptions regarding the situation at hand. It’s about entertaining new possibilities and perspectives.

The big trick is to seek a simpler way. Rather than try to do more, how can you do less? As author Tim Ferriss suggests, ask yourself, “What would this look like if it was easy?” Think in terms of “minimum effective dose” (MED), which is defined as the smallest dose that gets the job done.

Just relax. Take the pressure off.

Instead of struggling to try harder, exercise your imagination and curiosity. Get creative—look for a novel angle, a “road less traveled” by you, a shorter and far superior route to your glory goal.

It may be that you merely need to deploy your top talents quite differently. But so often a breakthrough comes when you turn to one of your lesser skills, or a resource you’ve not considered, or a tactic you haven’t tried. These are your shadow assets, and they can be game-changers.

The key to “you squared” lies in counterintuitive moves, maneuvers that are unusual for you. That’s how you slip through the backdoor to breakthrough.


Price Pritchett is one of the foremost experts on fast-growth strategies and breakthrough performance. His firm—PRITCHETT, LP—is recognized worldwide for its thought leadership on mergers, corporate culture, change management, and accelerated achievement. These writings define the behaviors and individual mindset underlying fast growth and innovation.


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