Essential-Skills.com - Troubleshooting Your Life
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Category: Self Improvement
How To Eliminate The Biggest Problem In Your Life-with a lot less effort!
This time of year it is natural for people to start thinking about change. A new year feels like a good time for a new start. I envy my friends in the southern hemisphere. I think the new year in the middle of summer would make it much easier to get back in shape or start a new hobby or even just have the daylight to do such things.
A friend of mine is planning to quit smoking. He plans it several times a year so I know he is serious about it. He tells me "Tom, I am quitting smoking Monday". I usually respond by telling him if he really wants to quit he should just do it right now instead of planning some date in the future. This usually evokes a strange and confused look from him, "If you are going to do something you should plan it and prepare".
Well that is how it goes with most people. They want to make life's changes in giant steps that have to be planned for. Then planned for again. Then the plan needs refining until the plan is perfect. Then the plan needs updated. Then maybe a different plan might work better. Then it needs refining and updating before you get to the third plan. At some point you decideyou need to learn to plan better. Then of course you scrap all your plans and plan on learning to plan. After that you will make a new plan, refine it and update it
Ironically, several of these people that I know of seem to all have an extra copy of the book " Getting Things Done" that they feel they need to share with me.
While I agree that there should be some kind of plan I think that people make this too complex. While planning for all the big changes they miss all the little things in their lives that could easily be fixed. 30 little things could be changed while never accomplishing one BIG thing.
The reason is simple. It is all about leverage. Archimedes used to say, "Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world." There is the solution to the problem. Too many people are trying to move their entire world in one big lift. Then they make a list to make it even harder on themselves
Where do we find the leverage?
Well first let's think about problems. Most people think of problems as individual things. They act like the brain has individual compartments where different problems are kept. Luckily the brain is much easier to understand than that, in this context. There is no isolated process. Every thought touches every other thought. Every problem touches every other problem. It is a giant weather system of thoughts and desires swirling around and interacting to generate your view of the world. Every bit changes the weather.
Now for the leverage. I think that the reason that people tend to ignore small problems is that they think that if they fix the big ones that the small stuff will just go away. While that may be true the opposite is true as well and.it is easier!
Think of a small problem. Let's say that at the end of the day you just toss your socks in the middle of the floor. You want them to be put where they belong. So your change could be to put your socks in the hamper at the end of the day. That seems like nothing but.everything in the brain is connected. That is where the leverage is.
Small problems give you leverage. They are where you can get the most done and see tangible results the fastest. They are connected to bigger problems. They are the lever. When you work on small problems you fix big ones. Why is that? It makes no sense? It can't be that easy! You guys are crazy!yes we are. Thanks for noticing.
The reason is simple. Each problem, big or small is a doorway into the same room in your mind that the problem is created in. You can try beating down the door to the big problem with all the complex locks and emotional steel bars or. you can go in through the door that is hanging half-way open that only has socks on the floor.
Both the big and the small problems have the same origin. Solve either and the problems of your life start evaporating. Knowing this, why would you choose something huge? I know why. It is because huge problems seem more important. It is a trap that we all fall into from time to time. The problem is that because they are so important they are very emotionally charged. That makes them harder to solve. It also makes them easier to try to ignore because we don't want to feel the bad feelings these problem create. We become mental ostriches with our heads in the sand because that feels safer than dealing with HUGE problems all the time.
If big problems and small problems have the same origin then dealing with small problems can yield BIG results.
Let me give you an example. Today is Ricky's birthday. I noticed this on Facebook today so he is on my mind. I met Ricky over 6 years ago. We were presenting at a seminar in Hawaii teaching the 3D Mind. We asked for someone who had a problem that they wanted to work on. Ricky raised his hand. He said he had a medical problem and wanted help. We told him we would see what we could do. I was very clear in explaining that we could not take care of a medical problem with a magic pill. He understood and agreed to play. After asking a few questions we discovered that this problem could trigger 'attacks' that were very embarrassing. So instead of working on his medical problem we worked on how he felt about the attacks.
The result was that the change he made was about the anxiety surrounding these attacks. In his own words:
When Tom and Kim asked for volunteers I decided to see if they
could help. I'd just seen another fellow use 3-d mind overcoming some serious
shyness and Tom made no reservations on the types of problems when he asked
if anyone had a problem they wanted to deal with.
Prior to going through 3-d mind I'd get panic attacks linked to physical
ailments and the more I'd worry about the attacks the worse the symptoms got. I
realize now that my anxious state was driving my physical symptoms more than the actual physical symptoms themselves.
In fact, since November I have been able to detach all the excess meaning
I had attributed to this illness.
Everyone there respected my privacy. So now when I look back on the 3-d
mind experience in Hawaii, it is an extremely pleasant experience that I can
relate to anyone in a positive way. I'm still fixed too.
I never expected a miracle from Tom and Kim and I didn't get one but what
I did get was totally unexpected and quite a revelation on my part. I was able
to look at all the excess meaning (or baggage or whatever you want to call it)
that I'd somehow attached to my illness.
And then I was able to detach what wasn't necessary for me to really enjoy my life.
I didn't need to go! though every scenario from the past either, I
basically dealt with one feeling (anxiousness) and the entire world I'd built
around the illness de-constructed like a broken damn. This took about 15
It was 15 minutes that changed his life. Here is a YouTube Interview with him a few years later
The key here is that we did NOT try and work on the big problem of him having the attacks. We just worked on the anxiety about attacks. Strangely after that he did not have an attack for 3 years. He might never have had another one but I have not verified that so I don't want to make any claims.
The hardest part is trying to teach people this one simple idea that the path to solving big problems is by taking care of the small ones. It is natural to be focused on the thing that is emotionally the most charged. If you use a point were you have more leverage you will get better results no matter what goal you have.
So what are you going to do next? Are you going to try and tackle the biggest problem you have or are you going to accomplish solving 10 small problems?
Are you going to keep doing things the SAME WAY that has not been working or are you going to try something new?
The answer is simple. To solve the biggest problem in your life, start solving the small ones!
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