As I dropped my favourite spoon into the oily muck in the sink, lamenting the lapse as I did so, I began to wonder what spoon I’d use the next morning for breakfast. What an influence that lapse made on my thinking. Suddenly, without thought, my mind was grazing over the possibility of using another spoon—a less pleasurable one—because I couldn’t automatically see myself rescuing the spoon. But then, without thought, I plunged my hand into that mess, seizing the spoon, and, at the same time, I discovered that the oily muck in the sink was not that bad after all—it just looked bad. And I had my spoon!
What appears as a slow moment in my household illustrates a common phenomenon proving problematic in our lives.
So many times we refuse to challenge ourselves in the solving of simple problems, and this is because of fear; often an unconscious fear.
We all have our ‘spoon’ experiences. And these experiences come in the form of relationship, task, and asset problems—big, small, and in between. There is a problem with our problem-solving. We talk ourselves out of problem-solving before we even challenge the matter. Can this be a chief cause of much of our procrastination?
Fixing The Problem Is Easier Than Enduring It
Procrastination takes a lot of effort. It is fatiguing and wearisome on an already limited psychological budget. Fixing the problem is easier than enduring it.
When I made the choice to bear the pain of enduring the oily muck on the sink, which did not prove painful at all, I retrieved the spoon, and, after cleaning it, had it available for my later use. Some would say, “Just get another spoon!” Not when such a spoon offers, me, its sole owner, so much advantage for pleasure. And despite the joking, our problems are very personal.
For me it is a spoon; for the next person it is a plate; for another it is a mug.
Our problems, as personal as they are, may seem inconsequential to other people, but they are still problems to us. Because our problems are problematic to us we are always better fixing them.
One Most Empowering Concept
If we can quantify our problems, analyse and fix them we can remove many barriers that blind us to better opportunities. What we never see we can never take hold of. What we can never take hold of remains elusive to us. This can be a travesty.
And what of life are we missing out on when we don’t overcome our problems?
This seems the real issue.
When we address our problems, by fixing them, or by accepting them, we move on beyond the barriers that those problems present and we begin to realise more of our potential. Furthermore, we become bigger, better people.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.