Do You Know When You’re Making A Bad Problem Worse?

What areas of my life am I implementing solutions to problems that are actually making it worse? I’ve seen that some of the problems we try to solve are not as bad as the solutions  implemented to solve them.

Sometimes we spend a lot of work or hope a solution will work to solve a problem and actually make it worse. What’s important for me is to notice when I do this in my life. It doesn’t matter if the government does this, if you’re doing this in your life or I see someone doing it on TV. What matters is if I can identify when I’m doing it. If I’m doing it, then I can change something about it.

I posed this question to you today as a thought-provoking question. I hope it’s useful to you in looking at your own life and I’m doing it with myself. If you don’t understand exactly what I mean I’ll explain it a little bit more. I was a police officer and before that I was a young hoodlum that caused trouble. I’ve been on both sides of the crime equation. I’ve tried to solve problems as a police officer, but I’ve also been the young man that created problems. I ended up interacting with the police on account of those problems.

I saw a sign my gym posted saying that people were breaking into cars and that you should secure your valuables. The sign is intended to help people avoid having their cars broken into. They put it up thinking it will deter crime or let people committing the crime know that we notice what’s going on. It will help the people going to the gym avoid having their cars broken into. This is a good line of thinking, right?

What also happens when they put the sign up there?

As a former police officer and a former hoodlum, I think this sign signals that car break-ins happen in this parking lot. That confirms to me that this is the kind of place where people break into cars.

If you assume certain people are committing crime and certain people are not, then it makes sense. If you assume the people committing the crime are just like you, then a different set of solutions seems obvious. You can start to see that maybe that’s not a good idea to let people know that this is a place where people break into cars.

So often posting things like this make the problem worse. Someone who goes to that gym who might break into a car sees that there are things worth stealing here. This is a place where I might be able to take something. That might not have been something that the same person would’ve thought about doing until the gym showed that this is the kind of place where a crime goes down.

I realize cars get broken into all over the place from my experience going to car break in class. However, I don’t always think about it happening around me. I have a general system I use to keep my valuables with me and I kind of do that everywhere. When I go to LA Fitness and see that this is the kind of place people break into cars maybe I don’t want to come here. Even though cars get broken into everywhere, my subconscious says that this isn’t a place for me.

The solution is also a part of a problem then. The problem becomes that LA Fitness is not a place where I want to hang out. It’s not the place I want to be. That sign sends negative signals and perpetuates the problem it’s trying to prevent.

The question is, how can I apply this to my own life?

My answer is I try to see when I’m doing something that’s making a problem worse. That starts with acknowledging the problem to begin with. I’ve had a hive issue recently with having some hives on my skin, back, and neck. I didn’t even realize there was a problem for quite a while. I applied different solutions like changing my deodorant or my shirts. I tried different things that didn’t make a difference and weren’t related to the problem. I wasted a lot of time trying ineffective solutions.

At the same time, I tried things that distracted me from fixing the real problem. Now it seems that this is a food allergy. That’s often common. It’s okay that we try to fix our problems the wrong way in life lots of times. The problem is when you implement a solution and you don’t get any feedback on it. The problem is when you think something you’ve done has solved a problem and it really hasn’t.

LA Fitness puts that sign up instead of looking at whether there was anything else related to that car break in. Maybe there’s other things they may want to do besides put the sign up. Sometimes, it’s not as simple in our lives to fix whatever problems we can see by putting a sign up at the front desk. That often can be a deterrent to doing anything at all.

I’m now trying an elimination diet to solve what might be a food allergy problem in my life. It takes a lot of work. Often the solution to the problem you have takes a lot more work than just putting a sign up at the front desk. What I need in my life is to know when am I putting a sign up at the front desk. When am I trying some superficial solution that is to do, but doesn’t solve the problem?

When am I making a real effort to solve the problems I’m having? I want to make an effort as far as the problems I’m having so thinking about the problems in this way helps a lot.

I pray today to be willing to look at the solutions I’ve applied to my problems. I pray to see if they have solved the problem, if they’re making the problem worse or if they’re eliminating me from doing what I need to do to solve the problem. I pray that I’m willing to look at the problems in my life enough to judge the solutions I’m applying to them. I pray that you have all the same opportunities. When you’re able to solve your problems, that’s a big help to me in my life. When everyone around me has fewer things they’re doing, I have fewer things that I need to struggle with. Thank you for reading this. I’m honored you’ve spent this time with me. Have a great day today.