This morning I sat down with my journal. I had a moment of quiet and needed to hash through some things that have been on my mind.
As I write the thoughts begin to untangle. They unfold their long tentacles and I start to distinguish the problem behind the problem.
I find I often have to hunt for the real problem and it is usually hiding behind the elephant of a problem that I think is the real problem. The elephant stands there like a big lug blocking my view like a brick wall.
When I finally convince the elephant to step aside for just one moment, I can see what is behind him. It is right there, has been all along but I couldn’t see it.
In my imagination the real problem looks exactly like a meerkat. He is just sitting, looking slightly guilty, his dark eyes blinking at me impishly.
Way too often I grasp, scratch, claw, yell, pick and prod at problems that aren’t the real problem. I think they are, but they aren’t. They are just elephants.
So how do we find the real things. Distill our thoughts and struggles down and sift through life.
How do we:
- gain footing
- gain momentum
- gain confidence
- gain ground
- move forward
- make progress
How do we move the elephant to see the meerkat?
Well, for me it is a combination of silence, a pen, and a blank piece of paper.
I gain clarity this way. It’s a way to get my elephants out of the way and see the real culprit, the meerkat if you will.
I just write whatever words come into my head. I have no hesitation, no filter, no judgement of what is good or bad, I just write.
All the walls go down and the real stuff comes out.
Usually the words start out random and then slowly start to form something. A common theme or feeling and I am able to filter through and pinpoint the real issue.
Then I am able to get the elephant out of the way and address the problem with clarity. I then make a decision, write down a plan of action, and move forward. This gives me momentum and confidence. I gain footing and make progress towards a solution.
This stuff brings life.
Move your elephants, identify your meerkats.
Question: Have you found a way to move your elephant?