Leadership Between the Lines

Loving your problems? Dare to love the solutions more…

I was talking to one of my sisters this a.m. (can’t say which for confidentiality – and I have 4!) about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And what creates happiness. And what doesn’t. We got to talking about problems. And solutions. And what has to be present to move a problem from the point of being a “problem” to a solution. Component #1? You have to love the idea of creating a solution – MORE than you love the idea of having your problem. Think about that. Seems obvious, but in my experience it’s not. As is often the case – the idea is not rocket science – the active implementation of it is.

Ever seen this? “I’m having a problem….xyz…I hate it, it’s hard, I wish I could solve it, I want it to go away.” Ever said this? “Hmmm…What about? Or? Would this be helpful? Here’s another way of looking at it…How can I help?” And then by any bitty chance, have you ever gotten this response? “Uggh…no, my that won’t work, nor that, or that, my problem is unique, it’s different, it’s hard, you don’t understand, if I do that than this might happen, it’s hard, it won’t go away, gosh I wish I could solve my problem!” Or some version of that? Likely you’ve heard and spoken your own. I think we all have at least once! (Grin.)

Here’s the deal – you have to want to find a solution to your problem, to be willing to do the work, to get out of a comfort zone, to ask the hard questions, to “dare to engage”, in service of creating a solution even MORE than you love having the problem. For until your commitment to solution is bigger than commitment to problem…you’ll go in circles. Painful circles in my experience. (But, hey, that’s just me!)

So think about a problem you have now. OR something you’re saying you want in your life. And think about where it’s not moving fast enough, where it feels stuck or where it feels impossible to solve. Think about if you REALLY want it solved. Really. Here are some questions you might ponder – see what they stir up: “What are you getting out of having the problem? What do you love about it? What’s it keeping you safe from? Where do you get to hide out or not fully engage, because you have this problem? Who do you get to blame? How does this feed your ‘story’? What’s the positive intent of having the problem?” Play with those, and then if you find that you actually ARE ready to “solve it”, you might ask yourself “What’s the smallest thing you can do to start to shift it into a better state?” Have fun!

Special note: This applies to teams and relationships as well…misery loves company so beware the group collusion on how hard it is to solve the problem – notice where the group dynamic feeds the mindset and takes you actually further away from the solution.