The other day I heard a commercial on radio (I know, how antiquated) and it actually got me thinking! This ad was for some weight management program that offered all the bells and whistles. I don’t know what it was and I didn’t even catch the name of the brand so I can’t give them direct credit except to say their ad started me on this train of thought.
Problem or Outcome?
When I am problem oriented in my thinking whatever changes I make are done to fix the problem. So if I diet I’m trying to fix the problem of being over-weight. If I join the gym as part of my new year’s resolution I am trying to fix the problem of being out of shape. I may succeed for a while, but once the problem is fixed more than likely I will go back to the old way of doing things and eventually the problem returns.
Athletes do not think of winning a game as solving a problem. To an athlete winning the game is an outcome of the training, practice and discipline they put in when playing their game or training for their sport. When they win they don’t stop doing what they did in order to win. They keep on practicing, training and perfecting their skills. They are outcome oriented.
So far I’ve shared the commercial with you. Here is where my brain took off. How many times have I started learning a new skill or attended training in order to fix a problem? Once the problem appears to be fixed I eventually go back to my old ways. I stop following the budget. I eat whatever whenever. I don’t track my sales, prospects, referrals. Eventually the problem resurfaces because the fix wore off.
What could I accomplish if instead of trying to fix problems I focused on creating a healthier lifestyle? Systematic approach to sales or managing my finances? What if I made changes to my outlook? Perhaps the outcome I’m after would be the result of the process and not a solution from a fix?
What about you? Can you recognize times you’ve opted to fix the problem only to have the problem return once you’ve stopped doing the “fix”? Are their any cycles of problem solving you can recognize in your life?