Focus on the Problem—Not the Adjacent

We often try to solve a problem by focusing on other (unrelated) problems.

This tendency reminds me of the story of a police officer noticing a drunk man who is searching aimlessly for his lost keys under a streetlight. After a few minutes of watching him, the police officer asks if he’s sure that he lost them there, and the drunk replies, ‘no, I lost them in the park.’

We find it easier to solve other (usually smaller) problems than spend time on finding a solution for what’s actually bothering us.

You see this in many aspects of our lives, big and small.

Instead of working on a looming project, you organize your email inbox, clean your house and start (yet another) new business idea.

Instead of working on your art—the thing you want to do—you do a dozen other things with your time instead. We wait until the very last second to do it (if at all.)

Doing the dishes isn’t going to fix your marriage (—that is, unless your significant other despises dirty dishes and you said that you would do it.) But confronting the real problem will.

We need to focus on (solving) the problem—not the adjacent problems, todos and hullabaloos.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1138

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