If we are honest with ourselves, we all desire a quick fix to what ails us. There must be a simple pill, an “easy” button, or a conference we can attend to pump us up enough to address our greatest challenges immediately with a few tricks. If that does not work, lottery winnings can ensure that plenty of money will take care of everything.
We all know the odds of winning the lottery are very slim, but the potential for a massive quick fix always taps into a deep yearning within all of us. With regards to money and the quick fix, I think Sigmund Freud said it best when he said given a choice between treating rich or poor patients, he would always choose rich because they no longer think that their problems will be solved with money.
As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, we need to genuinely and honestly confront the areas in our lives where we are waiting for the lottery winnings to give us a quick fix to our challenges. Just like winning the lottery, the odds are stacked against us, so the principled choice is to plan around the reality that there will never be a quick fix to our struggles.
If I were to ask you, “What are the most difficult problems you face today?”
What would you say?
Once we move beyond the myth of the quick fix, we can begin to make steady progress in addressing our most difficult problems. The consistent, daily implementation of habits, not an intervention of the next great idea, is the only proven effective method for addressing our greatest struggles in life.
Here are a few thoughts on the habits we can make part of our routine:
- Do we care enough to solve this one? This is a helpful question to ask as solving our most difficult problems will take effort and focus every single day. We can’t do everything, so answering this question will help narrow our efforts to what matters most in life.
- Do we know what it looks like in the end? Clearly being able to see what the goal is will help keep us on a consistent path. The clearer we have the goal defined, the better our chances of achievement.
- Do we believe we can achieve it? It will be incredibly difficult to effectively address our struggles if we don’t genuinely believe they can be solved. Start to believe now.
- Principle-based habits. We should guide our thoughts, decisions and actions based on principles like honesty, commitment, compassion and hope as we go about our daily activities to address our most difficult problems.
- Reality Check: The journey on addressing our greatest struggles is a life-long pursuit. Enjoy the journey as we will learn, we will be better for having tried rather than if we quit, and we will set an example for others to follow which will have an impact even when we are not around.
As we walk away from the myth of the quick fix and become intentional about delivering on the habits that will lead to addressing our most difficult problems, we build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity® to reach our full potential.
PS: Miracles do happen. However, they are so rare and so unpredictable that it is most effective to believe in miracles, but keep working our habits like they are our only option. When the miracle does show-up, we can be amazed and overjoyed just like young children on Christmas morning.