Symptoms or Solutions?
As we near the ending of the year, we often think about the new year and what it will be like. New Year's resolutions are popular to make and easy to break. Most of us want a better New Year. Progress is pretty satisfying. We want progress, but what can we do beyond the common, but often unsuccessful New Year's resolutions to make next year a better year?
Change your focus.
Let's start with an example. We pretty much all understand the medical model for creating change in the world. To be fair about it, the medical model didn't used to be so bad. It could be pretty good in fact if the focus was back where it should be.
You go to a doctor and complain of acid indigestion and an occasional tummy ache. The doctor may not even ask you what you eat and you go out with a prescription for an acid preventing stomach pill. I heard a comedian say that you eat things you shouldn't eat and the doctor gives you a pill so you can continue to eat the things you shouldn't eat, isn't that malpractice? No, it is modern Western medicine. The medical model is the medicine model. There is a pill for everything.
The focus is often on the symptoms and not the solution.
I have seen people save and cut back their spending all the way to bankruptcy. Their problem wasn't they were spending too much money, it was they didn't have enough coming in. They focused on the symptom instead of the problem.
Suppose you have a rock in your shoe and it hurts your foot. Do you keep taking pain medicine or do something about the problem, that you have a rock in your shoe? You might say, “I don't have time to stop and take off my shoe, then my sock, then shake it out and make sure my shoe is empty, the put it all back on again. It is faster to take a pain pill.
You might see the silliness in that example, but we all do things just as silly in real life.
I have seen people that said marriage counseling is too expensive find out what expensive really is at divorce court.
Make a list of your problems for the next year. What is bugging you? Where are you wasting time and effort? What things would make a difference in your life if you could really change them?
Think about the big three areas and the fourth one that affects them all.
And your spiritual life and outlook that lets you look at things with a long term view and a healthy perspective.
Put the problems on paper.
Now, how are you dealing with those problems? Are you working on the symptoms or the solution of those problems?
The children here have come and gone and now the grandchildren are coming, seems like more every year. Grilled cheese sandwiches and kettle cooked carrots are big around here these days.
Our kitchen was never really organized. We put two families together and she had a toaster and I had a toaster and we had all of these pots and pans that didn't match. Duplicates and mismatches.
We got new cookware and the problem got worse. No where to put things and time wasted trying to find it. One day I made a rack for our new cookware to hang on the wall by the refrigerator. It is the sort of thing you have to make. I know you can buy racks, but to fit the spot and hold exactly what we wanted I had to make it. It took some of my spare time over a few days, but I got it done.
I can't believe the difference. No more looking for pots and pans on your knees in the lower cupboard. No more dirty dishes sitting around because you are just so disorganized. It changed the whole kitchen process. A place for everything and everything in its place.
I have got back the time I put in making the thing a hundred times.
Finances, Relationships, Health, look at these areas and see where you need to spend some time and effort to save you some time and effort. No one has the time to exercise, but they have to take the time for the heart surgery or the insulin shots or the kidney dialysis. Why not spend a little time now and save the suffering?
Work on the cause of the problems in your life and don't waste your time chasing symptoms.
I want you to be a problem solver, instead of a problem manager.
Best and be blest,
Scott Hogue CChH
Scott Hogue is a Strategic Life Coach, an Author and a Certified Christian Hypnotist.