Have you ever come up against a problem
that you just couldn’t solve? Where it felt like you were
simply banging your head against a brick wall - over and over
and over again - without making any “headway”? Sure you
have. And can you remember how you finally came up with a
solution? You most likely took a step back and approached the
problem from a different angle, with a new focus which enabled
you to find a simple solution which was there all along.
Consider the lesson of the moth which
was discovered in Joe Lake’s garage one day. As Joe was
preparing to travel to his office, he opened the garage door and
startled a large moth which immediately tried to escape by
flying to the circle-topped window of the door. It tried
frantically to exit through the invisible wall of closed glass.
Joe tried raising the garage door higher in hopes of aiding
it’s escape. That caused it to fly higher and become entangled
in a spider web. Fearful that it would remain entangled in the
web, Joe took a long-handled broom to assist him in helping the
moth escape the tangled threads. The moth then returned to
furiously pumping his wings and banging into the glass, which
was, in his perspective, the pathway of escape, but instead, the
moth remained captive. By simply turning his focus to one side,
he would have easily exited his prison. Rather, due to his
intent on one direction, he remained confined, captive and
People are quite the same as the moth
in this story. Too often we come across individuals who are so
sure of them self that they refuse to change their focus. They
would rather continue in one direction without changing focus or
giving consideration to other alternatives. How often we have
witnessed failure, when a simple change of direction would have
resulted in success.
It is very much like the old farmer who
had plowed around a large rock in one of his fields for years.
He had broken several plowshares and a cultivator on it and had
grown rather morbid about the old rock. After breaking another
plowshare one day, and remembering all the trouble the rock had
caused him through the years, he finally decided to do something
about it. When he put the crowbar under the rock, he was
surprised to discover that it was only about six inches thick
and that he could break it up easily with a sledgehammer. As he
was carting the pieces away he had to smile, remembering all the
trouble that the rock had caused him over the years and how easy
it would have been to get rid of it sooner.
Next time you find yourself facing a
“brick wall”, before you spend too much time banging your
head needlessly against it, remember the moth banging into the
glass. Remember the farmer who finally decided to put a crowbar
under the rock and discovered a simple solution. Try to change
directions and refocus on the problem. By approaching the
problem from a different direction and viewpoint, the solution
may be easier than you thought.
the next time...