Solutions: What are you solving for in life?

Condition 2 in the 6 Conditions of Change

Solve your current problems before moving on

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The second condition required to unlock change is our Solutions to our current life-problems.

Solving for the wrong type of problem can be very frustrating. We are often drawn to the “idea” of a life-style or challenge that is not yet ours to solve. Instead of focusing on where we’re at, we get caught up with shiny objects, distractions, and are lead down the garden path. We lose track of the real issues in our lives and instead choose to focus on other things that appear sexier or more gratifying.

Are you really ready?

How does one truly know whether what they’re focusing on is the “right” thing or not? A good indicator is if you’re currently in balance with your existing life-conditions.

For example, take an employee who is performing remarkably at work. Their clients shower them in constant praise, are continuously promoted, and everyone in the office enjoys their company. They learn from everyone and spend years getting to know the ins and outs of their industry, business, and money. One day, this employee might think to themselves, “Gee, I think I know enough about this to run my own shop!”. After talking about it with their partner (check supporting structure), they decide to start a business on the side. They grow it until they can run it full time and enter a whole new perspective. (A Blue to Orange transition)

In contrast, how would this play out if the employee was terrible with money, didn’t understand the market, and was too junior? It doesn’t matter how many business courses they take, life-coaches they hire, or books they read – they’re not ready. Ultimately, they will fail in their endeavors if they don’t go back and sort out the prerequisites. (Orange cannot be supported by an unhealthy Blue).

If we haven’t solved the problems of where we’re at, we don’t have the supporting structure to jump into the “next thing.”

Are there enough resources to move on?

Let’s look at another example. While travelling, I meet many individuals claiming to be “changing/helping the world,” yet they can’t afford the bill when we go to dinner.

How can you expect to help the world when you can’t help yourself? The world is littered with well-intentioned but broke hippies. Ensure your own house is in order before fixing others.

When a new perspective or set of problems is presented to us, a great deal of energy is invested in understanding and dealing with them. As we mature in this perspective, we (hopefully) get better at solving them (how often do you think about tying your shoelaces these days?) and use fewer resources, time, and energy to solve them.

For example, when you start a new job, there are, imaginably, many modern systems, people, processes, technical words, etc. to learn. Over time these things become familiar to you, and what requires a whole day to complete in your first month may take you a few minutes down the road. This means that there is an excess of energy.

It is in this excess that we find ourselves on stable ground. Only now may we safely stand up and look beyond where we are.

If we were still doing a lousy job (not solving our current problems), there would be no energy to think about other things because we’re tied up in what we’re doing.

Revisit what you think you know

There seems to be this “great rush” to modern life. Grow faster, work faster, learn quicker, go further, more, MORE! All well and good in some situations, but often this leads us to skip over some things. The issue with this is we can sometimes be carrying around unhealthy solutions that we “found” long ago. Re-addressing the problems in Spiral, starting from the base, can strengthen the foundation in more complex places (“higher” colors).

We may test ourselves on these:

Slow down and take stock

We all need work. All of us would have elements in each of these perspectives that could do with a little love and kindness. This is where the power of community and environment helps us, as we are incapable of detecting our blindspots.

So next time you feel friction, come back to these problems. Ask yourself if the desire for something else blinds you, or are you working at where you’re at? This is a hard question answer sometimes, but a necessary one.

Going back to support our foundations transforms us into healthier, stronger, more flexible people/companies/countries/etc. It’s perfectly ok to admit we’re insecure and work to heal it. There is no shame in discovering that we don’t know ourselves or have trouble doing what we really want in life (many of us are like this). Consistency, discipline, and dedication are hard virtues to manifest. Don’t beat yourself up. Just keep going.

Keep living, learning, and growing. Don’t let other people’s ideas of what you should be doing deter you. They’re on their own journey, and no two roads are the same.

But most of all, if you want to change, be honest with yourself about where you are and what you’re doing. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.

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