Who doesn’t love a hack? A shortcut? A way to skip to the end?
There’s just one problem: What works today usually doesn’t work forever. Sooner or later, you have to get to the heart of the matter.
Sean and Katrina found this lesson out the hard way. After 20 years of marriage, you would think they would have the art of compromise down to a science. Yet everything started to come apart once their kids were off to college. The empty nest presented a lot of possibilities, but also some problems.
They loved their new puppy, but their work schedules were a little erratic. No problem – they hired a dog walker.
A refresh for their house was in order, but they couldn’t decide on the palette. No problem – they found a designer to keep them on trend and maybe even set up for resale.
Then they decided to take a holiday. Fun choices, right? Not exactly. Deciding where to go on vacation was like everything else: A big headache. Yet this time they couldn’t job the problem out to someone else to solve. That’s when tensions finally came to a head.
“You have to give us credit. We were trying, but nothing ever got done,” Katrina told me. “We’d see each other in the kitchen and agree that we wanted to get away. Then we’d have to rush off to work without making a decision.”
“A couple of days later in the bathroom, we’d do it all over again. It was like a ping pong match. ‘I want to go for 2 weeks.’ ‘No – I can only take a week off.’ Then one of us would brush our teeth and we’d never finish the conversation.”
“Finally Sean said to me, ‘Tomorrow night. 7:00. I’m picking up Thai. And we’re talking about vacation!’ You wouldn’t believe it,” she laughed. “In less than 10 minutes, we worked everything out – the place, the amount we wanted to spend, how much time – the works! We looked at each other in amazement and asked, ‘How did we fall into this?’ I guess decades of focusing on the kids’ logistics threw us off.”
“I hope we’ve gotten that out of our system,” she said, leaning in. “It was like we were stress testing our marriage to see how much pressure it could take! I thought our relationship was in a good place because we never fought or got into power struggles. But I’m seeing that we talked all the time without talking at all.”
In the October series, In the Solution Now, we’re talking about how to match logic with intuition. Sean and Katrina thought they were solving their problems by hiring experts. However, they were missing heartfelt, intuitive messages like, “Connect,” and “Sit down together.”
This week, your challenge is to look past the logistics and stop architecting the workaround. Ask yourself, “Am I addressing a problem or am I really solving it?” If you’re just addressing today’s issue, it’s sure to come up tomorrow.
Get yourself into the solution – a lasting one.