Problem Solving 101

Out of sight, out of mind.  Ever heard that old saying?  It reminds me of the kid that is so scared of the bully that he would rather walk 2 miles around the block in order to avoid facing his/her fears!  What the kid doesn’t realize is he/she is still experiencing the effects of being bullied even though the chosen action is to ignore and avoid the confrontation.

The stress associated with anticipating the walk home, the feeling of fear until safely home and being robbed of living a life of freedom are all side effects of not facing that bully.  And the kid will experience these feeling for years, sometimes even recalling these emotions as an adult when revisiting the neighborhood of his/her youth.  As we learn, but never seem to really understand, is that problems do not go away when ignored.

Why do we ignore problems in our lives instead of dealing with them?  We have all experienced the freedom associated with finally resolving an issue that has hung around our necks like 1000 lb anchor.  To be able to take a deep breathe, exhale and experience freedom is an experience we should want to duplicate.

But, unfortunately, we are not that intelligent!  We choose to ignore our failing health when making better food choices and walking around the house could mean the difference between life and death.  We choose to ignore our mounting debt when 2 short years of sacrifice could provide a lifetime of financial freedom.  We choose to avoid facing our problems because the effort seems too overwhelming; the mountain is too high, the task is too big, I owe too much or I weigh too much.

image

image credit: unknown

The downside to the action of taking no action is that things get worse.  The abandoned house with bad pipes becomes an uninhabitable structure when left unattended for 20 years.  The years of neglect create more issues like a leaky roof, broken shudders, pest infestation, faded paint, rot and a cracked foundation.

When we ignore our problems they grow and become bigger problems and we carry this burden around the entire time.  So even though we are trying to ignore them, our problems are ever-present in our minds; staring us in the face, haunting our alone time.

I use to be a procrastinator and sometimes that affliction jumps up and grabs me.  But I am retraining myself to be a person of action.  My motivation is to make changes in my life now, so that when my wife and I start a family I teach our kids good, positive habits through my actions.

People do not pay attention to what you say, they watch what you do.  And what you do is who you are.

Now, when I have thoughts of putting off action for a later time, I immediately do the opposite.  And the more I practice this habit, the less I procrastinate.  I choose to deal with procrastination because I do not want my kids to learn to be procrastinators.

I want you to think about your actions, or lack thereof, for a moment.  What problems have you been ignoring and what are your actions teaching those in your life about you?

I am certain that each and every person has a looming problem they have chosen to ignore.  And many had the vision of that problem come to mind immediately upon reading the title of this post.  So why are you refusing to face your issue(s)?  Why do you drag guilt, dread, judgement, disappointment and fear around with you day after day after day??  It is time for action.

Do you have massive debt?  Time to make drastic budget cuts and start paying it down!  Do you overeat?  Time to see a counselor and nutritionist and take back your life!  Do you need to finish your education?  Time to enroll!  Do you smoke cigarettes?   Time to buy a nicotine patch!  Do you hate your job?  Time to start a plan for a career change!   Stop letting your life lead you instead of you leading your life!

Do you know the most common response made by those that have overcome long-ignored problems?  They all wish they had done it sooner.

The longer you wait, the more insurmountable your mind will make the problem and the more likely you are to continue ignoring it.

image

I have spent many hours lately educating myself on health, food and the state of obesity in America.  I have come to realize that there are many emotional reasons that cause obesity such as: lonliness, depression, anxiety, etc.  And the more I read the more I am convinced that those with these issues must seek help immediately.

I have said it before and I say it again…if you are overweight, for any reason, you must reach out and ask for help.  The health risks are real, they are severe and they are deadly!  I am begging you to stop ignoring your weight issues, stop making excuses and find a way to get the weight off before you leave your family without a father/mother/sister/brother, etc.

If you need to see a therapist to deal with the reasons associated with overeating then do so. Asking for help may just save your life.

The reality is your problems exist and ignoring them will not change that fact.  They are not going away nor are they improving via neglect.  If you have been neglecting an aspect of your life now is the perfect time for confrontation.  No more delaying, no more excuses.

Big Dreamer

Original post date: March 2015