Looking beyond the problem...

If you don't look beyond the problem, you'll never see the solution.

Patch Adams movie clip

Patch Adams movie clip

There are many reasons why we can get stuck ... not be able to see a way out ... have our progress halted. I'm not here to share the list of reasons; you can make your own list (which isn't a bad idea, by the way). I want to focus on one reason we get stuck -



I encounter people, myself included, who have the philosophy that if we look long enough and hard enough at a problem, we can come up with a way to fix it. Not necessarily true!  One way to get unstuck is to talk through problems with other people. It isn't their problem, so even if they wanted to, they couldn't look at it in the same way you do. It is highly likely that they aren't very invested in finding an answer, so they may be willing to toss out random ideas - that may or may not work, but they are ideas that you didn't have before you talked to them. Others may truly want to understand the problem before they offer solutions, so they ask a zillion questions, which in turn may uncover information that you had not really thought about.  Yet others, may not have any ideas and just one question "how are you? and what can I do to help?"  It's pretty great to have those people in your circle, too.

I offered up 4 different perspectives to your "problem"

1. Yours - pretty locked in and, likely, limited

2. The critical thinker, who will dig and probe and ask questions to help you uncover new ways of looking at it

3. The idea person, who is glad you are talking about it, and is grateful you asked them for ideas, of which they have many

4. The support person or friend, who really has no interest in the problem, but is very interested in how it is affecting you

That alone presents three good reasons why you would do well to get a friend or colleague to "look beyond the problem" with you; chances are very good that the answer lies just beyond the problem, but you couldn't see it because you were stuck in the yuck/thick/density/darkness/frustration of the problem. You see what you look for; if you look for the problem, that's all you'll see.

Have a problem that you are tired of looking at? Don't keep it to yourself. Don't continue to see the same thing louder and clearer. Why don't you contact a friend and together look past your four fingers for a solution. It might take some practice - it might seem blurry at first - it might seem impossible - and, it might be worth trying!

BTW - what else did you become aware of as you watched this video clip?


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