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If you are looking to fix a problem you might be looking the wrong way

How often have you heard – as I did on the TV news last night – “We need to understand the causes before moving forward…”, or some such nonsense?

Reasons and solutions are unconnected. Ferreting about for explanations is a worthy pastime if you are a ferret, but a waste of time if you are a person of action.

Once you have solved the problem, planned the way forward, and agreed who-does-what, there will be plenty of time to learn from the past so that you can avoid repeating your mistakes (and to recriminate and blame if you really must).

 

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The Sow’s Ear Effect

Telling yourself good stuff about yourself seems, intuitively, like a good idea. It is supposed to help you feel good, or better, about yourself, and to gradually build self-esteem.

But this only works if the statements – or ‘affirmations’ – are believable. Far fetched inspirational statements seem like a good idea, but they can actually have the opposite effect.

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Hear the Storyteller, Not Just the Story

Stories have the power to persuade and change, they can also condemn and isolate us.

Once we are past childhood we judge a story by the storyteller. We look for interests and motives that could render the story invalid or suspect.

When we listen to the stories we tell ourselves we should be similarly cautious, the narrator is usually hugely biased.

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