Dead fish go with the flow. Living fish push against it.
For some, life is a series of problems. For others, problems are an occasional blight on the landscapes of a beautiful life. Regardless of who we are and what our experience is, problems in the wider field of society tend to ricochet and land in our laps. Whether we belong to the former or the latter group, problems are part of life, we are all touched by problems to a greater or lesser degree.
Where do problems come from?
The simple answer is that problems in the wider world are reflected in the organisations we as families and individuals frequently have contact with. We are all interdependent. We are a series of multiple, complex systems connected and entwined with each other, through each other in obvious, nuanced and hidden ways.
Increasingly in recent years it is easier for us to see how the problems of society hang on every household door. The only difference is the weight with which they hang. We may find ways to ignore or deny these problems, turn a blind eye, however, none of this negates the existence of problems. Furthermore, the tension between the weight of how problems are felt varies by generation. Many of the problems we see today have, in one form or another, existed before. The issues may be new to us, they may be new to our children, but they are not new.
I have a deep fascination and curiosity with history and its ability to repeat itself in an observable cyclical fashion. It may vary in appearance, the people involved may differ, yet the patterns of behaviour and human response remains unchanged beyond the superficial.
Today’s primary difference is that we have a slightly better understanding of how problems function and how we can resolve them. The introduction of systemic awareness in the 1960’s breathed life into an ancient understanding of the universal laws that govern human relationships and interactions. The question is, are we willing to engage with this wisdom, or are we still too afraid to let go of deeply embedded patterns that run unhindered in our collective blindspot? The individuals and organisations I work with are willing to take the steps to create different outcomes in the present and the future. I am also aware that the idea of active change towards fewer problems is a step too far for many. And then comes the realisation that as humans we can only influence a certain degree of evolutionary change.
One small step for man.
It was once thought that we could leave ourselves, our personal lives, thoughts and beliefs at the door when we arrived at work. That like a machine, we had no conscience informing much of what we do. Yet we now know that as individuals we change families, we change organisations and we change society through our presence. Even if we tried to walk away, our influence remains. In this we are equal.
Families and organisations suffer when what we offer is not acknowledged. As a nation the United Kingdom have never recovered from the loss of wealth after colonisation. Similarly, British subjects from the colonies have yet to recover from emancipation that brought freedom, the unspoken sense of rejection and abandonment, and the shock realisation that the streets were not paved with gold when they came to a Great Britain devastated by two World Wars. These wounds linger, and can be felt and seen in many of the problems today. Such events in the past continue to inform how we respond to events in the present. Problems are rarely fully resolved, they slip away, and years later reemerge as a ‘new problem’ with a new definition, a different name or a three worded slogan to “Build Back Better.”
Problems are everywhere that humans are. And everywhere that problems are, there will be a solution, because problems are solutions. The only real challenge with problems is not that they exist; it is that the answer is so close we cannot see it.
Problems are Solutions.
As a solution-focused coach and facilitator, I look to the solution, not the problem. When working with individuals and organisations, this makes what I offer invaluable. It is true that the problems of the world are not going to be solved by me, or by any other single entity. That requires the combined effort of millions of raindrops who carry the gift of potential. Those of us who carry the potential to stimulate growth and change are compelled to do it. Potential is one of the most valuable natural resources life offers. Seeded at the granular level it reveals itself in incremental gain.
We can address the problems we face as individuals, the solutions influence our families and impact organisations and the wider system to which we all belong. In the wider whole these seemingly imperceptible movements are bold because they ask us to be courageous and to trust.
Why be part of the problem when you can be part of the solution?
Not everyone wants solutions to problems. For many having unsolved issues is part of their identity; solutions can feel like a step too far. As someone who belongs to a group that has historically been marginalised, it felt dangerous to step away from being seen as marginalised. At the time, for me, it felt safer to wait for experts and leaders to find the solutions to our problems. Moving to America in my early twenties, I learnt that there were many ways to belong in society without being seen as marginalised and without holding onto the need to feel it.
Solutions are beautiful, they liberate us as we lean into the mental, emotional and psychological strength that arrives when we overcome an obstacle. Not only have we succeeded in finding and creating the solution, our sense of purpose is enriched, and we benefit from the inspiration and motivation to go on living.
Solutions are the gift of life.
To go on, is to move with the energy and spirit of life. Change is always happening, and we have a choice in each moment to acknowledge change and resist it, or, we can go with it. When we step into solutions we improve life not just for ourselves, everyone benefits.
Are you inspired to explore and discover your potential?