Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

October 3, 2017
Small changes to problems can make a world of difference

The room was filled with people. And silence. The silence was anticipated as well as disappointing.

It was anticipated because it was the same result I’d had for over 59 years. So, perhaps I needed to change the work anticipated to expected? It was also disappointing because I was trying to get a different result than silence. Why was I still hoping for a different result when the progression of 59 years loudly proclaimed failure? My thinking pattern had become stuck.

Being stuck in one particular thinking pattern is akin to watching a scratched Blu-ray disc. I was watching a movie on such a disc a couple of weeks ago. The film was progressing just fine until it hit the scratch. Then the story and pictures were frozen. One still photo filled the screen with no movement. The sound stopped. The story stopped.

It wasn’t until I tried several functions to get around the scratch that I could progress through the movie again. Still, no matter how I tried, I was unable to view the scenes ruined by the scratch. They were unrecoverable!

Yes, specific scenes were unrecoverable, but the story, in virtual entirety, was still mine to enjoy, see, hear and finish.  All it took for this wonderful result was a little change in the way I interacted with the Blu-ray player and its cradled disc.

Small changes in the way we approach problems will make a world of difference and a different world. The next time I met with the same people in the same room, I had enjoyed a different result. Here’s what I found to work:

First, recognize that you will likely get the same result by doing the same thing over and over again. I finally asked myself, “Why have you been thinking that doing the same thing will somehow, magically give you a different result?”

Second, sometimes tradition, what we’ve learned over a lifetime, hasn’t worked well over several life times. I’ve found that this is often the case. Failing traditions can be overcome by changing asked questions. What is the result I’m looking for?

Third, use information and experience from the past by applying it in a different manner. Have you ever reread a book and gained new insight from the same, oft reviewed words or story?

Finally, have courage to change. I’m often afraid to seek a new result by changing my behavior, even when my new thinking has opened opportunity. What causes you and me to seek the perceived safety of a rut?

I looked at the people in the room, the people stuck in the rut I had created. I worried about what they would think of me when my approach changed. Would they react negatively? Would my new thinking cause a new problem?

The room was filled with people. And silence. But the silence was short lived. In one second, I heard, “Thank you” from someone in the room. I was not disappointed. New thinking.  New approach. Different result.

Can you think of new solutions to old problems?

Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.

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