Too often we get so comfortable with what’s familiar that we stop looking for other ways, including better ways, of doing things. We live by the cliché, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” (actually, I like “If it ain’t broke, break it!” better!). We settle for less and it stifles our growth.
But, years ago, I read a statement that helps me to try to stay out of the ruts (which seems to become more challenging over time) …
There’s always a better way!
We try to instill this value in Ethan and Sarah (last month, I wrote about it in Cultivating Creativity). To truly believe that there’s always a better way is to embrace change as a good thing (or at least a necessary evil!). Without change there is no growth, no transformation, because transformation is change!
Sometimes looking for better ways simply means shaking things up, making sure you stay out of a rut. Weightlifting has a principle called the “confusion principle.” Because your body and muscles get accustomed to your regular routine, you confuse your muscles by changing your routine from time to time in order to overcome the tendency to get in a rut.
While there’s no such thing as the perfect browser (every browser has its strengths and weaknesses), too many people simply settle for the browser that came pre-installed on their computer (although that’s changing, according to a recent article at PCWorld.com which notes that Firefox 3.5 is currently the most-used specific version).
When I was a PC user, I looked for alternatives to Microsoft Internet Explorer. I used Avant Browser, one of the early “tabbed browsers.” I loved tabs because I often have multiple windows and a number of tabs open at any given time with pages I’m reading, researching, and/or tracking). I also liked how Avant regularly released new updates (a sign of constant improvement).
Since switching to a Mac six years ago, my primary browser has been Safari, but not just because it came pre-installed on my Mac (it also came with Internet Explorer for Mac which I deleted a long time ago because it had already been abandoned by Microsoft after Apple released its browser, which now has a Windows version).
While Safari has been my primary browser, I periodically try other browsers, looking for better, more effective/efficient ways of browsing the Internet (or maybe I just get bored too easily). I’ve used Firefox (it’s been my main back-up browser) and have had a brief stint with Opera (now that version 10 is out, I may give it another spin, at some point). But, for some reason, I always come back to Safari after a while.
Recently, a beta version of Google Chrome for Mac was *finally* released (the Windows version was released last fall), and I’ve been trying it out in the last few days. As a beta version, it lacks some key features, but overall, I like Chrome and think it has some potential.
There are some things I really like about Chrome — its minimalist look, how it handles tabs, and how well it fits in a Mac environment (this is actually the number one I reason I keep returning to Safari).
But in order for Chrome to become my primary browser, there are some things that need to be added: the ability to open PDFs within the browser, a bookmark manager, and the ability to “Open all (bookmarks in a folder) in tabs” would be nice.
I would love to see keyword bookmarks (the ability to create shortcuts for bookmarks, like “ww” for williswired.com, for example. Firefox and Opera have this feature; sadly, Safari doesn’t. The Official Google Mac Blog lists some features that are on the way.
Well, there’s always a better way. Or maybe I just get bored doing things the same way all the time. What about you? What are some areas in which you’re always looking for a better way?