Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Simple problem solving

One of our ladies came in last week for counseling. We talked for a long time about all she is dealing with. I listened a lot. Briefly, I shared a few thoughts with her, but then got out a piece of paper and drew a circle on the blank piece of paper-


I showed her the picture.....and then I said, "this is the solution to your problems." Then I waited......

After a moment she looked at me with a puzzled look on her face as if to say, "WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? ARE YOU CRAZY?" But she was kind enough to actually say, "I don't understand...." I told her, "There are only a few things you can do anything about. Those things are inside the circle. Everything outside of the circle is out of your control. You have been focusing your attention and efforts on the things you can't do anything about and so you are frustrated. Focus you attention on the things you can do something about, and don't worry about the rest." She left my office with a dazed look on her face and I wondered if she got it.

The next day she called and was a different woman on the phone. She said, "your picture changed my life! I got it! I understand and it's so much easier when I only have to work on what I can do something about." I smiled.

So, today, draw a circle on a piece of paper and list in the circle those things you can do something about...then work on those things. Don't worry about the things you can't do anything about. Trying to change those things will only make you crazy!

..............

3 comments:

Kris Sorensen said...

I may be borrowing this highly complicated diagram :) for those I counsel. Thank you for sharing this.

Schweers' Mom said...

I had a former pastor show me the same diagram. It really has stuck with me. I just need to remember to use it more often. The other example I remember is you and I talking about Peter getting out of the boat and "seeing" the wind. That one sticks with me too when I start worrying about the things I can't see, but fret about.

lu said...

I think sometimes we don't know what move to make, so we don't move. Sometimes you just have "to put one foot in front of the other..."