Monday, June 27, 2011

Tunnel Vision

Do you know that you will never find the solution to a problem on the same level that the problem exists? This statement is true whether we are talking about our business life, our personal life or just life in general. Have you ever noticed when you are in a crowd of angry people with a problem that a viable solution is never found? They may come up with a plan of action but rarely will that plan of action result in a viable solution to the problem.

Have you ever noticed when you are angry with another person or your group is angry at another group that all you do is focus on blocking the moves of the other person or group? When this happens you become more determined to make sure that the other person or group does not win rather than finding a solution to the problem. The result is a type of tunnel vision that keeps you narrowly focused on the problem rather than allowing you to have the full 360° field of vision necessary to find a solution.

And guess what? When this happens, the other person or group becomes more determined to make sure that you or your group does not win as well as block all of your moves. This results in the escalation of a cycle of conflict which often involves strong emotions. It is often these emotions that act as a roadblock to our finding a proper solution to the problem. It is at this point that we normally start casting blame on the other person or group involved and as we all know problem solving is not about casting blame but more about accepting responsibility.

In addition to applying proper problem-solving techniques, the first step we need to take is to find a serene place or activity which will allow us to contemplate the problem in peace. In order to solve the problem effectively it is necessary that we separate ourselves from the emotions involved. It is in this state of mind where we will be able to identify the problem as well as accept responsibility for any part that we may have had in the creation of the problem. We will also be able to remove the blinders which caused us to have tunnel vision and cast blame so that we may now see from the full 360° field of possible solutions.

I have often been asked what one has to do in order to find the serene place or the activity discussed in the previous paragraph. The answer is as varied as the number of individuals that ask it. For some it is listening to certain music. For others it is working in the yard and digging with their hands in the earth. For still others is some type of repetitive activity such as walking, running or riding a stationary bike. And for yet others it’s nothing more than sitting in their favorite chair and contemplating their navel.

Now here comes the interesting part. Once we have identified potential solutions to the problem, we are going to have to get agreement from the other parties involved for their implementation. And that my friend is a subject for another blog entry. I hope this helps!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When is Good Enough, Good Enough?

Just when is good enough, good enough? For the last six weeks I have been busy creating a set of four audio CD’s which capture the message of my seminar entitled “Straight Talk about Success and Spiritual Growth.” However as I was listening to the final product, I found that I kept going back to change a word here or rephrase a phrase there. No matter how many times I went back, I kept finding something that I could have done better. This activity finally made me ask myself: “When is good enough, good enough?”

In answering the above question, I had to ask myself another. This new question was: “Have I given this project my very best effort?” And every time that I could not honestly say “Yes”, I went back to review my content. However, when I was finally able to answer “Yes”, I stopped all editing of the content and went into the duplication and production mode.

Now I realize that there are people who will not like what I have done. On the other hand, I realize that there are people who will like what I have done. And although their opinions are important to me, their opinions will not change how I feel about my effort in completing this project. The key here is that I have done the best I could with what I had. I think that it is important that we have this same mindset as we go throughout life.

In order to answer the question: “When is good enough, good enough?” we must understand the following two points. The first point is all projects are composed of tiny steps. We must focus on doing the small things right because if we do that then the larger projects (which also consist of small steps) will automatically be done correctly. These projects could be any be any number of things: 1. Doing a report for class, 2. Managing a project for your office, 3. Raising a child or 4. Just living your life. You see it doesn’t matter what the project is, just do the small things correctly.

The second point is, given the time constraints that we have and realizing that we are not perfect, we must always go back and review our work and ask ourselves: “Is this our best effort?” If the answer is “No” then we go back, review and make changes. If the answer is “Yes” then we move on to the next area of our life. If at some future date we find out that we could have done something better, we must learn from the situation, forgive ourselves and recognize that we did the absolute best we could at that time.

It does not matter if you’re in a relationship, raising a child or completing a project for work or for school; your good enough is good enough when:

1. You focus on doing the small things well and
2. You have done the very best that you could do.

If you are interested in purchasing this 4-CD set that provides simple, biblically based tools on how to overcome the roadblocks to success in your life, go to the following link: