When it comes to both goal setting and solving problems, most people share one specific trait with flies – the common house fly, that is – and that is one of being stubborn to the point of their own detriment.
Allow me to explain…
A fly – as part of its typical behavior, will:
a. Keep returning to the spot you just chased it away from. While it is single-mindedly focused, it is also totally oblivious to the very real threat to its very existence.
b. Keep trying and trying to escape through a closed window – even though there is one open right next to it.
Are you starting to see the similarities yet?
As human beings, whether it be on a mission of solving a problem, or on a mission pursuing a goal…
a. We sometimes tend to ignore the very real threat posed to ourselves and our families by specific acts we undertake in the pursuit of our dreams.
Once we set our minds onto something, we throw caution to the wind and boldly go where angels fear to tread.
(yes, FOOLS rush in where angels fear to tread… – sound familiar?)
While it is great to pursue you dreams and goals, we do have a moral responsibility to those around us to not cause problems, heartache and trauma for them. I am not saying you have to give up on your dreams because your family may not be comfortable with what you want to do – but in your actions, always consider the domino effect whenever you have to take a risk.
(this even applies if you want to do a high risk job like being a police officer or a firefighter – there are limits to the concept of “acceptable risk”.)
While risk is part of goal setting, try to shield your loved ones from the effects of setbacks and failure wherever possible, or at least try to minimize the risk. There is often another way to do it, albeit it something that will take longer.
Just remember – if it takes longer to reach your goal, it probably won’t cost you the support of your loved ones. But if you cause unnecessary hardship for them along the way…
Do the math.
b. When solving problems, we often tend to look only at one specific solution – which is unattainable. We can literally “see” the positive outcome – like the fly looking through the window – but we simply cannot get to it.
We choose to ignore the possibility of other potential solutions, partly because it’s not what we want, and partly because we are so focused on the unattainable that we are blind to any other possibilities.
Needless to say, by being so stubborn we only end up perpetuating the problem, and like the fly, we waste a LOT of time fighting to get to a solution that “should be possible.”
Meantime, though, there is another potential solution to the problem – yet we REFUSE to acknowledge it.
Look back on your past for a moment – have you ever done this? Have you ever looked back upon a specific event and thought “doing ‘this other thing’ would have made so much more sense…?”
One final thought:
Just for a moment, compare your capacity for thinking to that of a fly…
Fair enough, your challenges are infinitely more complex than those faced by the fly – but then again so is your capacity for thought and reason.
You have the ability to think, to evaluate, and to explore options – logically. You are not limited by any instinctive, primitive drive.
You are capable of much more than that.
So don’t reduce yourself to the reasoning level of a fly.
There is no benefit – or sense – in doing so.