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Next Steps

When you’re finished, circle the answers you wrote in Squares 2 and 3. These are your problems. These situations are what’s wrong with your life. They could be draining your spirit and occupying your mind. A statesman once said, “The mark of a successful organization isn’t whether or not it has problems, it’s whether it has the same problems it had last year.” Just replace the word “organization” with “individual” and that statement may have insight for you. The question isn’t whether or not you have problems in your life; the question is how long have you had those problems and how much are they troubling you? Could they be monopolizing your energy and undermining your ability to concentrate?

One woman reported this exercise helped her confront an issue that had undermined her concentration to the point she thought she was losing her mind. Someone would be talking to her and she wouldn’t even hear them. She had several “near-misses” while driving because she wasn’t paying attention to where she was going. She would stare at paperwork but couldn’t motivate herself to start working on it. When she answered the question in Square 2, she realized that what she was not doing that she wanted to was be with her mom who was dying of cancer. They had been very close all their lives, and not having the time or the money to fly back to take care of her filled her with despair. Her problem wasn’t that she couldn’t concentrate. Her problem was she was not taking action to resolve a situation that was debilitating her emotionally. Once she realized this she approached her boss and explained the situation. He arranged for the company to advance three months salary and give her a month off without pay so she could spend time with her mother. By taking action on the real underlying source of her problem, she was able to start functioning normally again.


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