This Tip requires a lot of concentration for all who hear it. It is one of the most difficult concepts I have ever learned in my life. The first time I heard it, I immediately began to feel defensive. I tried to think of all the reasons why it was wrong. I thought, “That cannot be right! I am not the problem in every difficult situation in which I find myself and I know that there are some problems that I have absolutely not brought upon myself!” But over the years, I have come to see the power of this deep, unusual truth.
You see, you have a powerful influence that you bring to the table in every situation in which you find yourself. If there is something taking place in your life right now that you feel is not going well, then the question to ask is, “What can I do about it?” In other words, what role could YOU play in order to make things better? Until you realize that if you are not the problem (even a small part of it), then there can be no solution. This kind of thinking takes the matter of personal responsibility and turns it squarely around so you can look it right in the face.
When I finally began to process this concept, I realized that this truth is actually one of the healthiest ways of thinking that I have ever experienced. In any difficult situation in which I find myself, I begin to ask myself a series of questions. “What role do I play in this problem?” “How am I participating in this particular situation?” “What have I done or said to make this situation better or worse?” “What can I do to make things a little more pleasant?” It causes personal responsibility to fall squarely on my shoulders so that I can begin to make a difference in the situation.
Perhaps you are in a relationship with a family member or with someone at work where you have done everything in your power to make things right and you are still not satisfied with the current state of affairs. Well, let me say once again, if you are not at least part of the problem, then there can be no solution. I told you this was a difficult concept! Also remember that the reason all of this is true is because your attitude, your behavior and your words are all completely under your control.
It is human nature to want to straighten out other people and other situations. (If you find a good methodology for doing that, please let me know! I would love to know how to correct other situations and other people to make them all turn out exactly as I would like. Unfortunately, that is not possible.) The longer I live, the more I see that the only person I have any power over on this entire planet is myself! I believe I should be a strong influence on others, but I cannot control anyone. Nor do I want to. I simply want to control myself and influence others.
I refuse to live my life based on the decisions of other people or the circumstances that come my way! If I can do anything to make the situation better, then I will do it, because I recognize that I am part of problem. When I recognize that, it immediately, helps me to become part of the solution.
Recently at work someone made a mistake. I told them not to worry about it, but to learn from the mistake. I said, “Actually all of this is my fault for starting this company. If I had not started this business none of us would even be here at work today and none of this would ever have happened! So, as far as I am concerned, I am the problem!”
I know you are thinking, “That is crazy!” But, let me remind you that I am the one watching people work harder and doing a better job each day. Casting blame has no place in a healthy business, or in a healthy life! Have you found blame and shame to work successfully for you?
Let me encourage you to begin to look at yourself in any situation as the chief problem. I know this is irritating, like rubbing the fur of a cat in the wrong direction. However, it will free you to no longer have a VICTIM mentality, but begin to have a VICTOR mentality.
I have shared this concept many times with other people and I have seen that it often takes a while for it to sink in. It is a big pill to swallow, but it brings smooth digestion to your stomach once it becomes part of your daily life. Trust me on this one! It is a powerful concept to make part of your life and your daily experience.
Tip: If I am not the problem, then there is no solution!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm