Monday, March 28, 2011

Bring solutions, not problems

In Canada we have an election underway and I am amazed at the criticism and shots fired back and forth among the political parties.  These people will tell you all the problems, but don’t give much back in the form of solutions.  I am surprised, because I guess I was brought up in a family that respected our politicians, and maybe back then they deserved more respect, but I am saddened by the current state of affairs.  

I realize, though that I shouldn’t be surprised by this behaviour.  It seems that many people are ready to blame others and find fault, but rarely come up with good solid solutions.  It’s always someone else’s fault and we rarely see people take ownership of the part they’ve played in the outcome.  There’s a phrase that says “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions.”  We could all benefit from this principle even in our thoughts to ourselves.  We know what the problems are, we live them everyday, and of course there’s nothing wrong with making sure you know what the problem is and clearly defining it, but then it’s time to move on.  Come up with solutions.  Not every solution will be perfect or even all that good, but at least the focus will be on positive movement forward.  When you hear your self talk saying, you’re too fat or too lazy, you’re focussing on the negative or the problem.  What is the solution?  How can I be healthier so I lose unwanted weight? Or how can I take action and get motivated so I accomplish something?  If you focus on being overweight then that’s what you’ll get, but if you focus on how to become healthier then you will become healthier. 

In your relationship with your spouse, do you continually focus on the fact that your partner never listens or do you focus on ways that you can open lines of communication?  Do you complain that your kids never do their chores and their homework or do you instead focus on ways to empower them and make them feel better about themselves so they want to be productive members of the family and want to succeed in school? 
Politicians could take a cue from this principle.  Focus on what you do right and the solutions to the problems of the people.  I don’t need anyone telling me all the problems the other guy has or will create.  I want to know what you will do and the actions you can take to move us forward to a better place.  So please whether at work, at home, in your own mind or in the political arena, think about the solutions and stop focussing on the problem.  

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