Sometimes in our lives, all of us get to a place where we feel as though we are stuck. It may be in a job situation, or in a relationship, or just in the daily routines of life. We do not feel that we are going backward, but neither do we feel that we are moving forward. It can be a hard place to be. I have been there from time to time myself, and I am sure that you have been, too.
Years ago I heard of a situation that took place in a particular company that has often helped me to reflect on why I may be stuck in a situation of my own. I will relate that story to you.
The president of a large refrigeration company had two vice presidents. He met with them before he was to take a trip out of town. He told the two gentlemen that one of the largest freezers in their plant had a problem and was not working properly. He asked them to take care of it while he was gone. When he returned a week later, the situation still existed and neither one of the vice presidents had completed the task. He met with them and asked why it had not been repaired.
One of the vice presidents explained that over the years they had replaced nearly every part in that particular refrigeration unit. The entire unit was just too old to continue to be repaired, he said. He explained to the president of the company that, in his opinion, it was foolish to invest more money into a losing situation. It was time to scrap the entire refrigeration unit and replace it with a brand new one.
The other vice president then presented his case to the president of the company. He said that since, in fact, they had already replaced nearly every part in the entire unit over the years, it was almost a brand new unit! With just a few more parts to be replaced, it would be in brand new condition. In his opinion, there was no need to spend the kind of money to buy an entirely new refrigeration unit. Since all of the old parts had been replaced, it just needed a few more new parts and then the unit would be as good as new.
Do you recall that both of the individuals were vice presidents in the company? That meant that they had equal power and that neither one could tell the other what to do. Because they had equal power and authority, they were stuck. They could not make a final decision without the president’s input as to which one he considered to be the best choice.
The president of the company was wise enough to realize that it really was not a case of who was right or wrong in the situation. It was the fact that a problem had surfaced and the two men had come to an impasse. Neither could override the other’s decision. The president thought about the situation and made the final choice himself.
Oddly enough, I cannot remember what the president decided to do (and it really does not matter), but I never have forgotten the story. And, that is the whole point of this Tip. Sometimes we get stuck because we are in an equal authority position. Perhaps two people who are each important to us are telling us two different things and we just do not know which way to turn. When that happens, our choice is either to appeal to a higher authority, or decide exactly what we can do ourselves to resolve the situation.
Even in the example with the refrigeration unit, there is no perfect answer. If they bought a brand new unit, it could have been an unnecessary expense, for perhaps only a few more parts would have caused the unit to be like new. Yet, on the other hand, they could have put more money into the unit and it would have continued to malfunction until they eventually had to get rid of it anyway and get a brand new one. You see, it was not the decision they made that is even the point. It is the fact that they made no decision at all because they were genuinely stuck. Yet, they still needed to go one way or the other.
In my life I find that making the right decision is really not as important as being willing to make a decision and then making it right. No human on earth knows how to make perfect decisions all the time. However, every “best decision” you make will lead to making the next decision until you get to your desired destiny! I know for a fact this works! I experience it every day of my life!
The next time you find yourself stuck, back up and look at the situation and see who is giving you advice. See what kind of authority or influence they have in your life. Look at all of your options and realize why you are stuck. It will be at that point that you will be able to make progress in a new direction, make a wise decision and move ahead in your life. It is an exciting place to be when you begin to make progress again.
Tip: If you are stuck, seek to understand why.
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm
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