My great takeaway from all I’ve learned in recent months: The root is the target.
Daily life involves problem-solving. We can take cues and clues from the symptoms at the surface of things but true investigation and resolution requires a vested interest, an inspired passion, in shoveling through what appears to be an intimidating mass of never-ending systems. The route, familiar or unfamiliar, involves a commitment to valuing the findings that make us uncomfortable; force us to extend our search efforts and re-evaluate what we thought we already knew. In business, family and social life, health and wellbeing; the tireless pursuance for the origins of our ailments takes the winning prize. A method for problem-solving that wholly ameliorates our troubles at hand; by fostering the ability to investigate and take action. If we aren’t searching for the root; devoted to genuine resolution, we are papering over the rot.
- What are my obvious biases?
- What are my emotional responses to exploring my bias?
- What kind of cognitive dissonance might I maintain?
- Why do I believe my current leading theory?
- Do I know how to identify my inherent blind spots?
- To what extent do I favor convenient/surface level answers/solutions?
- Do or have these answers wholly resolved the problem?
- How do I test the legitimacy of seemingly convenient answers?
- Have I committed to a controlled experimentation?
- How many hours of investigation have I invested?
- How well do I pay attention to both internal and external factors?
- Are there explanations/answers I'm unwilling to accept?
- Outline the obvious symptoms, outcomes, factors, pieces of the puzzle (In a journal or digital notebook with sub-folders)
- Fill in/note the detail elements
- Keep notes (with dates) of your observations
- Keep a detailed working timeline (to later study)
- Ask thoughtful questions about each symptom, outcome, factor and detail
- Research and investigate the above items
- Copy reference links/titles/sources into notes for tracking
- Investigate your references
- What are the symptoms/outcomes others and myself are seeing?
- What are the internal and external factors?
- What is the context?
- Are there recurring patterns/variables?
- What efforts have already been made to resolve the problem?
- Who are the people involved?
- Is there something being concealed, overlooked or not discussed?
- Outline the steps that must be taken to reach the optimum resolution
- Communicate clearly with those necessary
- Follow-through on your commitments in a timely manner
- Model the role/behavior you are responsible for upholding
- Hold others accountable for their roles and responsibilities
- Award recognition to those that are showing discipline, integrity and follow-through (including yourself)