So I started out 2018 really well…I broke a toe! Not the grubby little toe, and not the Big really important toe, the 4th toe on my right foot. Now remembering that my left side gives me troubles…Broken hip twice after replacement, kidney stone in left kidney and now some sort of muscle problem in my left thigh, I limp on my left leg pretty much as a normal thing now. How do you limp on both legs?!
You cannot splint a toe. You just tape a good toe to the bad one. They must be adjacent. It is a lovely shade of purple now, but I can still get my foot into my shoe! Yay! So I ask my friend how she heals so fast because she’s had some broken bones and bam! You can’t tell she’d ever been injured. She says use the D3 plus Calcium and not only heals the bones but strengthens them. Well of Course! That makes perfect sense! So what do doctors recommend? OMG. You can’t pronounce these meds! What do they contain? Welllllll, you can’t pronounce those either. Why would they prescribe chemicals that are so foreign and contrived when Vitamin D and Calcium work better with fewer side effects? The fact is, the doctor wouldn’t. He’d tape the toes together and say stay off of them as much as possible. Ice and ibuprophen. He wouldn’t even prescribe a bone healing agent unless you asked about it.
So what do we see here? We’re treating the symptom and not the cause. Do we see this approach in other areas? OF COURSE!
Scenario 1: I don’t have enough money. I must double my hours to have enough money. I cannot double my hours in my current position, so I must find additional work. If I work for myself, I will make more money, but it will take too much time from my other job. I will work a part time job that doesn’t pay as well so it doesn’t interfere with my other job. It will cost me more in time, and sleep, and child care, and gas and wear and tear on my car and add stress to my marriage and my relationships with my children and my friends. But, I don’t have enough money.
- Enough money for what? Are you trying to pay off debt? Are you wanting a more lavish lifestyle? Are you worried about paying your utility bill? Do you find yourself without heat/light/phone every month? Prioritize your needs for the money. If utilities and mortgage/rent are the 1st things you pay for out of your paycheck, and you don’t have the money left to service your debt, you may have to eliminate some things and plug the leaks in your budget. And even if you have plugged all the leaks, you may have to come up with a unique way to bring in more money.
- Can you get a raise? You want more money for the time you expend and the value you bring to this company. Are you worth more now than you were last year? Have you improved your skill set? Have you taken on more responsibility?
- Can you work for yourself in a way that your schedule is flexible enough to give you the money you need to replace your current income with fewer hours? How important is this job you currently hold? Is it your passion or is it just a paycheck? Is it a means to your passion ie. you make $1000 more than you need for your household and spend it on building ultralights, or skateboards, or helping in the shelters or donating to Doctors without Borders.
For many people, the cost of the childcare and the transportation is 2/3 of the check they’d get from the 2nd job. If you figure 80 hrs/month at min wage, ($7.25) you’d be working 80 hours for less than $150 a month? That’s $1.81/hr. Who can afford to work for $1.81/hour?!!! So as in every enterprise, you have to look at the cause, not just the symptom. Is there something that takes only an hour or two per week where you can make $150? Let your mind go crazy and then pare it down to something reasonable. For me, that would be 2 students/month. I would be 1-2 investment clients/month. It would be 4 books sold. (Nice thing about books, you only have to write them once!) Find the source of the problem and work from there.
Scenario 2: I am fat. I don’t like being fat. It causes really stupid problems like not being able to tie my shoes or put on my socks. I can’t get up out of the couch. I will eat fewer calories and stay up later so I burn more, and exercise until I drop. ?? I am not losing weight. I am eating fewer calories, I changed from my late nights to getting a full 7-8 hours sleep, and I’m still exercising. I am not losing weight. I’m eating the RIGHT calories, getting enough sleep and exercising. I am not losing weight. It’s hopeless.
- How are you counting calories? Do you weigh your food? Do you cook it so you know how it’s made and what goes into it? What is the breakdown of your calories–carbs, proteins, fats?
- How consistent are you on your work outs? Are they all cardio or do they include strength and flexibility exercises? Do you work with a trainer? How do you measure your progress of your work outs?
- How much sleep do you want? Do you wake up tired? What is your typical bed time? Do you dream? Do you dream in color?
- Have you spoken to a doctor? Had testing done? Nutritionist? Recommendations for change in diet? Watched hour long infomercial about how people are losing 60 pounds in 30 seconds followed by an add for chainsaws and extreme liposuction with a shop-vac…
See? The symptom is being overweight. If you cannot determine the cause, you cannot fix the problem.
Unfortunately, when it comes to mental problems, cause doesn’t always lead to the same effect. I’ve become increasingly skeptical that knowing the cause of a behavior can help change the behavior. It may eliminate a trigger, but only if the trigger isn’t very old. If the trigger goes back to your childhood, I look askance at it. Unless you can remove a traumatic experience from your past, you have to go from your present condition. About all you can do for those experiences is to think, “oh…wasn’t that interesting,” and move on from there. I know that’s harsh. “When I was in Jr. High, I was thrown into the shower and restrained, wet and naked, and they took all my clothes and put them in the hallway.” That’s traumatic. Can you change what happened? Nope. Can you get even? Probably not, and it wouldn’t make you feel better. How did you cope at the time? Do you believe that nothing could be as bad as that experience? Probably. Have you anything to fear then? Hmmmm. The symptom was being the person on the bad side of a bully and (of course) the minions that follow bullies around. What was the cause? Does it matter? Nooooo! Now that’s where the interesting stuff comes out.
So when you find yourself worrying about stuff in your life, sit down, take stock, and ask the questions until you get to the root of the situation. Then solve the problem, don’t just treat the symptom.