I had been working on the final draft of second edition of The Differentiation Workbook and had nearly finished it when I got interrupted and put it down. When I went to pick it up a day later, it was gone. Just like that. Gone.
I looked everywhere. I went to my office and my colleagues and I tore the place apart. I went home and searched every room on every floor. Nothing. I went through closets and briefcases, boxes and drawers. No trace. With the deadline looming, I started to panic.
“How could I be so careless?” I berated myself.
“I’ll have no other choice but to start all over again, completely from scratch.”
Despondent, I decided to go into my home office and just be still. I sat down in my desk chair, closed my eyes, took a deep breath and whispered a silent, desperate prayer. No lightening struck from above, so I opened my eyes, sighed, and turned on my computer to begin recreating all my edits from scratch. I shifted slightly in my seat when suddenly, I felt something rustle beneath me. Baffled, I stood up and looked at the seat of my chair. There, as if it were newly hatched, was my draft. It had been there all the time.
How many times have we all done that? Searched frantically for something only to discover that it was right under our noses the entire time? How many times have we looked for an outside resource to solve our problems only to find that we had the answer all along? How many times have we grabbed the latest fad or the hottest new thing only to realize that it is no better than what we were already doing, that indeed if we just consistently applied what we already know, we’d be a whole lot better off?
That’s not to say that everything new is bad of that we shouldn’t try something different. It’s just that we shouldn’t be so quick to grab something new before we take a moment to be still and understand our problem. We shouldn’t be so quick to abandon the things that we know are working and run out to try something new. We shouldn’t be so eager to grab onto some outside source without first realizing that often, we have the capacity to solve our own problems.
I spend a lot of my time working with my clients to help them realize just that. Once I help them understand the real nature of their challenges, the solution becomes glaringly obvious and, together we figure out how to use the resources they already have to get to work immediately. Starting with clarity dramatically shifts our thinking and makes the work before us much more manageable, and much more successful in the end.
We spend so much time putting out fires, instituting new reforms, creating new solutions, and working hard to solve all of our problems. All too often, weeks, or months, or a year later, we find that our efforts were in vain and we start the process all over again. What if instead, we take a moment to be still, examine what we are doing already, and pay attention to what is happening right in front of us? If we did, I am willing to bet that we would discover the answers we seek right under our very noses.
At Mindsteps, we don’t believe in coming in with canned “solutions.” Instead, we start with what you have in place already and use our resources to support, not replace, your process. If you’d like to learn more about how we work, click here. If you’d like our help, schedule an appointment here.