Wednesday, May 10, 2006

All that matters is how you fix the problem

[if you've come for Shangri-la diet notes, click here]

I had an inflamed rotator cuff that was bothering me. I laid off the work out that inflamed it and quit exercises that involved my shoulders and kept waiting for it to get better. Finally I went to a doctor. His therapist sat me down and said "it doesn't matter how you got the problem, what matters is how to fix it." The solution was simple, basically a little exercise and working on my posture. Problem solved.

The lesson I just thought about again today, the important lesson, is that we often have problems. Almost every time it doesn't matter how we got the problem, what matters is what we do to solve it -- which often doesn't require knowing how the problem occurred. If you've fallen into a pit, I don't really need to know how it happened to throw you a rope and pull you out.

I just thought about it today when I realized I'm not working out on the balls of my feet. Doesn't really matter how I managed to quit doing that, all that matters is what I'm going to do to fix the problem. Not only that, but in most of the things in life, the same lesson applies. Looking forward to fixing problems is often more useful that looking back to see where they came from.


Anonymous said...

Does it matter more to know how something happens when recidivism is likely?

Or does focusing so much on avoiding the next time take away from fixing the problem at hand? Unfortunately it seems that acknowledging culpability isn't the same thing as accepting responsibility and seeking the solution(s).

Stephen said...

I was thinking more on the lines of myself, rather than others, but you make a good point.

When you've done wrong, recognition, restitution and then transformation are all important. Without an understanding of history and context, many people can not find recognition.

That is why so many personal inventories are chronologies. But once you've gotten there, for yourself, accepting responsibilty and seeking solutions is much more important than acknowledging culpability.