Problems. They are everywhere. They come in all sizes. Global warming, traffic, hangnails, bills, a co-worker drains the coffee pot and forgets to refill it… the list goes on and on.
Just the other day, my 6 year old gave me a good dose of fresh perspective in the ways I was approaching some of the problems I was facing.
We were eating dinner when all three of my kids scurried away from the table after eating just a few bites of food. There is nothing quite like pouring your heart into making a meal for your family and in the blink of the eye, they are done. Oh, the irony. The house was quiet for just a few mere minutes when my wife simultaneously muttered under our breath, “the kids must be up to something”.
A few days earlier, we had a Loveworks fundraising event and I brought home three giant 32“ balloons. I was right about the, “they must be up to something” moment when I heard the sound of the kids running towards the door to our backyard. It wasn’t really asking permission, when Tinsley shouted, “Dad, we are going to take the balloons outside! The answer would have been yes, but as soon as I was going to give them my dad speech to hold onto the balloon, the door slammed shut.
Then two minutes later, the inevitable…. the loud cry of a kid who let go of their balloon and helplessly watched it sail away. Eye roll. Moments later all three kids were back in the house in tears telling me about how they lost the balloon. Sigh.
Then the moment of perspective crashed into me.
Our oldest, Nya, ran back out the door carrying something in her hands. As I was trying to console the other two kids, I heard a noise that sounded oddly like a lawnmower. We all walked outside, and there was my 6 year old, arms extended as far as she could in the air holding onto our portable vacuum cleaner. The look on her face had me convinced that she was really going to suck the balloon back from outer space into our backyard.
But what I learned from her childlike faith is that big problems many times require us to have the courage to tackle them with big courage, risk, creativity, a different approach or innovative thinking to find a new way. So flip your perspective. Take a breath and calm the pain or frustration, so that you can clear your head and see a new way. You are the only one that can see the world uniquely through your set of experiences, skills, strengths.
There are no guarantees, but you may just have the solution.
You won’t know unless you go for it.
Executive Director of Loveworks Leadership