I bet you’re working too hard.

I know I have been.

I’ve got nothing against hard work. I was raised on Yankee
Ingenuity and elbow grease, so a solid work ethic is in my genes.

But we have so many jobs these days. Not just the ones that pay
the bills. I mean the endless, thankless jobs like packing lunches,
remembering birthdays, hosting the in-laws, giving the cat his daily pill.

We’re used to working hard in our go-go-go lives. So when an easy
solution presents itself, we miss it.

The answer can’t really be that easy, can it?

Yes. It can. And it is.

Our work ethic is rather admirable, don’t you think? (This is a
good time to pat yourself on the back. Go ahead – I’ll wait.)

We’re so mired in the struggle, so used to fighting for everything
we’ve got. When we take the path of least resistance, we
feel… guilty.

But solving a problem with the obvious solution is NOT being a
cop-out. It’s being smart.

Next time you find yourself attacking a problem that’s draining
you, get out your journal and ask yourself:

  • What am I missing here?
  • Is there an answer I’m overlooking because it seems too easy?
  • What would be the obvious solution?
  • The Bathmat From Hell

    Here’s a (kind of) funny example.

    I had this fuzzy green bathmat that didn’t absorb water. It
    collected kitty litter like nobody’s business. Combine rampant
    Fresh Step with standing water and you can imagine the mess
    blossoming in my loo.

    So my friend is over, listening to my diatribe on the care and
    feeding of the bathmat. About the additional bathmat I had to get
    just for showering. About the still-not-installed towel bar for
    drying bathmat #2.

    The frustration and extra work I endure.

    She bends over, picks up the offending bathmat, and throws it in
    the garbage. I watch her, dumbfounded.

    “Isn’t that the obvious solution?” she asks.

    Yes. Which is precisely why I missed it.

    Now your problems are likely larger than my bathmat. (Most of
    mine are, too.) But this story illustrates how easy it is to miss
    the obvious solution to tiny issues. Imagine how much of the big
    picture stuff gets past us.

    Journal about what obvious solution you might be missing.

    I promise not to tell anyone you took the easy way out. We
    wouldn’t want to tarnish your image. 😉