Many of you have told me, “Sometimes your articles— well, they’re just too long,” so I’m going back to my original intent and adding back into the mix early-in-the-week, simple (and brief) ideas like this one to help you plan a great week.
This week’s hint finds its roots in positive psychology.
Find what works and do more of that.
How often have you found yourself focusing on “improving” what sucks about a situation. You might be motivated by your ideals, but it’s also likely your are chiseling mountains with spoons. It’s easy to get caught up with the difficulties we face believing, if I only get to the root cause and fix that one thing, everything else will get easier. Even if what we believe is true, the root causes of any situation are often complicated and entrenched.†
There is another way.
In their book Switch, Chip and Dan Heath suggest that if we want to change a situation, start by finding “the bright spots.” In one example, a new director of Save the Children, was overwhelmed with the task of solving malnutrition problems in Vietnam. Instead of taking a roots-up, solve-it-for-everyone-at-once approach, he started looking for little bright spots. Who were the healthy kids in each village, and what worked for them? Once discovered, it was much easier to get the rest of the village behind the solution, and they started solving their own problems. The bright spots grew.
Here’s a week’s goal: Flip it a little. Take a knarly problem you’ve been facing, and instead of focusing on the root issues, hunt for a bright spot, a part that works well, that you can replicate and grow.
† Personally, I have a knack for recognizing root causes and dulling many a spoon digging at them.