FRESH LOOK AT OLD PROBLEMS
One of the greatest advantages people hold is the power to change. Not to change others. To change themselves.
That ability gives us the courage to take risks, the honesty to face our shortcomings, the determination to try—and to try something different, over and again. It gives us the wisdom to see the flaws in our attempts, and spurs us into thinking outside the proverbial boxes, seeking for solutions that have escaped us.
Taking a fresh look at an old problem isn’t always painful. It can be. Especially if we’ve visited that problem multiple times and still failed to find a better way, a solution that generates change that lasts. But here’s the thing:
When we take that fresh look—each time we take a fresh look—we do so bringing all we’ve learned from our past attempts to the table. We know more and more what hasn’t worked, and that expands our thinking. We relate new ideas, test them, seek them, and that revitalizes our hope that a solution exists and if we search long enough, hard enough, open our minds enough, we’ll find it. We just have to be willing to fail.
Some fear failure, but it isn’t failure that gets to us. It’s hard. We don’t like it. It’s not fun. But failure is a sign that we’re stretching and growing. So what does get to us?
It’s when we fail and we refuse to try again. When we refuse to make another attempt, we doom ourselves to being stuck with an old problem. So long as we’re making attempts, we have reason to believe that we can and will find the solution we seek.
We’ve heard it all our lives:
We all get knocked down.
The secret to success is to get back up just one time more than you get knocked down.
Taking a fresh look and being revitalized by it soothes our battle-weary souls. Rather than focusing on the defeat we suffered, we’re focusing on the possibility of success.
After the lessons of the failed attempt are learned, focusing on it, on the fear of subsequent failure, is destructive. Focusing on the lessons learned and incorporating them into a future plan for a possible solution is constructive.
Each fresh look sharpens our focus, and the sharper the focus, the more likely we are to find the solution we seek. The more likely it is when that solution presents itself, we won’t overlook it, dismiss it, ignore it. We’ll recognize and embrace it. What’s the worst that can happen? We’ll fail again. Okay, that’s not the outcome we want, but we’ve failed before. It’s not lethal. We learn what doesn’t work and that’s as important as learning what does work.
Taking a fresh look is healthy. We want issues resolved so we can focus on living our lives, progressing in areas that are important to us. We want balance and healthy lives—physically, emotionally and spiritually. We want good relationships, to enjoy our work, to feel good about ourselves and what we’re doing. We want our lives to matter and for what we’re doing to make a difference. Whatever we’re doing, we want to make a difference.
I said something about this in a group once, and a person responded. I’ll call her Jane. Jane said, “What we’re doing makes a difference only if we’re doing something worthy.”
I asked, “Isn’t there worth in everything? What lacks worth to one person might be worth a lot to another. Who decides the worth of anything?”
“No, everything doesn’t have worth,” she says. “What about those plastic tips on the end of shoestrings? Those aren’t worth anything.”
Before I could answer, another person did. “Obviously you’ve never tried to lace a wiggly kid’s shoe without them.”
My point is this: Just because you see little value in something doesn’t mean there is little value in it. It only means it’s not yet revealed its value to you. We all matter. We all make a difference. And what we do to and for one another makes a difference—sometimes far more than we realize.
Think about the ripple effect. You share something. It gets shared with another, and another, and all those people share. Has that insight or information, that wisdom, been worthy? Of course, it has.
And it’s very likely that that some failure or problem or challenge or trial generated the circumstance that resulted in that insight being gained to be shared. In other words, someone took a fresh look at an old problem—and someone else (probably someone who had faced it before) lit the path to the solution.
That solution might not be the right solution for you, but it very well might change the direction of your thinking and lead you to the right solution for you. And found, that solution leads to the change you wanted, sought, and now find.
Taking a fresh look at old problems might be uncomfortable. It make you uneasy, be work you’re not eager to do. But it can pay big benefits. It can be the spark to the very change you seek, and that is a huge win.
© 2015, Vicki Hinze. Hinze is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest release is The Marked Bride, Shadow Watchers, Book 1. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s online community: Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact.www.vickihinze.com. Subscribe to Vicki’s Newsletter.