In the wake of a realization I am in the habit of posting an article at my blog:
This helps me to work things out, share what I learn and, ideally, help others at the same time. I can get things off my chest, in other words.
Well I had a realization the other day, and though I am not remembering its source I want to share it with you. Last quarter one of my “classes” was CTEC 290, if I recall the number correctly. Working at the Penguin Help Desk, a service of free technical support and computer repair that the college provides the community. I had a lot of credits that quarter and I remember I was constantly exhausted. Looking back I think I see part of the reason why.
It has become my recently adopted belief that, to quote Abraham through Esther Hicks, “We get what we ask for whether we want it or not.” Our asking comes from our focus. Where we are putting our energy. If our energy and focus is on something we do not want, such as cancer, we will bring cancer into our lives in some way. If instead we put our energy and focus on something we want, such as perfect health, we bring perfect health into our lives.
There is a time delay as our request comes into the physical world. So if we catch ourselves we can consciously choose to focus on what we want instead of what we don’t want, and change what we are drawing to us.
Let me give you an example from my personal life… When I worked PHD last quarter we were overwhelmed with laptops that had software issues. Not only that, many of the laptops had the same issues and were even the same model! Naturally there was a lot of complaining about this. None of us wanted to be fixing laptops, especially laptops with software issues. We all wanted to be doing something more interesting, like upgrading computers.
I can not speak for my co-workers, only give you my response. I would sit down with a laptop for hours at a time, focusing on the issue or problem it had, trying to fix it. I put an enormous amount of energy into this, and I am convinced now that is part of the reason why I was so exhausted by the time I went home I literally passed out on the bus almost as soon as I sat down. I fought with some sort of sickness all quarter and sometimes couldn’t even walk straight.
Because I put so much effort, energy and focus into problem solving, which I used to say I specialized in, I received more laptops with software problems, and in my cases the same issues with new twists that I had to solve. To put it simply, I complained about how high the mountain was at the same time I was dumping millions of tons of additional material on it. I kept climbing to the top and never reached the summit!
I realize my mistake now. I identified myself as a problem solver. I saw this as something I enjoy doing, and I do. But the tendency is to focus, in minute detail, on the problem, instead its solution. Additionally if you are someone who likes to problem solve, whenever a problem arises, you habitually seek to fix it. One thing I had learned before last quarter is that I can not fix everyone’s problems. For every one I fix, there will be another.
This is mostly in reference to my parents and our living situation. Nobody at college knows this as I don’t talk about it, but I live in a 40′ motorhome with my parents parked on some land about an hour from the campus. We have no hot water, as the hot water heater died. The toilet broke so that had to be replaced. The sink broke so that had to be replaced. The front heater is broken and has to be replaced, and the rear heater may soon follow. Also we have no direct access to sewage hookup, and water gets to us through a hose, which can and did freeze occasionally during the winter. As for the sewage, we take it by bucket to a dumping access pipe by the house of the people whose land we stay on.
Of course the problems don’t end with the RV. There are bills to pay, phones that must be upgraded (no room left in their internal memory) and general arguments between my parents. I used to play mediator and referee. But I came to understand something. That my parents have their own lives to live, and have to work their own shit out, pardon the swearing. But the word is apt in this case.
As I have lived in this situation I have also come to see that no matter how much money I give them for bills, or how many bills I help cover, or how many things I get fixed on the RV, more things will crop up. Because it is not about me. These are things my parents have put their energy and focus into. The bills. The RV. So they have to work things out for themselves, learn what they put themselves into this situation to learn, and I have to do the same.
Now, in addition to this, I see that in problem solving, the focus is on a problem that must be solved. In troubleshooting the focus is on trouble that is being avoided. Through my work at PHD I was far too focused on the problems that had to be solved. I put all my energy and focus into them. Instead I should have been focused on solutions. Solution focused, not problem focused. Solution oriented, not problem oriented. I must be, and am now practicing and training myself to be, a “Solution Finder” or “Solution Discoverer” instead of a problem solver. I like the phrase “Solution Discovery” best. From now on, when listing my interests and strengths, I will use solution discovery instead of problem solving.
There is a lot of resistance to the idea in New Thought and Law of Attraction teachings of focusing on what you want, what you desire, what makes you feel good. Either people think this is lazy or selfish. Here is what I am convinced is true… Had I been focused on the solution for each computer that came into PHD, accepting each one as it came to me, but visualizing in my mind’s eye it working perfectly and the customer happily picking it up, there would have been few laptops with software issues coming my way, and I would not have worn myself out trying to fix an almost never-ending mountain of problems
Furthermore, if I had visualized customers coming to the help desk asking us to upgrade or build computers for them, we would have had more computers to build and upgrade. But most important of all, I would have felt better. Even if things were exactly the same, if my attitude and mindset, my energy and focus, had been on the solution or desired outcome, as well as my desired experience, I would have felt better. You can’t put a price on that. Let others think what they will. I will use the opportunities I have to practice new ways of thinking, because as far as I am concerned the old ways of thinking are not to my benefit, and they do not work.
But unfortunately, probably much like the others, my thought process every time I saw a laptop come in was something like, “Oh no! Another laptop with software issues!” I was a good worker and am a good student. I put my nose on that grindstone and left it there until there was nothing left. But that sucked a lot of enjoyment out of the experience and left me emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted and weak. I almost wish I could take the class again and, this time, get it right.
I know there is a difference in what happened when I was at the PHD and what is happening now. They have far less computers at PHD right now. Some would likely say that it’s the quarter, that it is just slow. But I see a definite difference in the types of things happening in the help desk now than from when I worked there. Different people, different energy and focus, different experiences. End of story.
As I have been given the opportunity to sort of supervise the help desk, I will, from this moment on, focus on the solution or desired outcome for anything that comes my way. I am no longer putting any energy or focus on problems. I am now directing all my energy and effort toward solutions and desired outcomes. On whatever it is that makes me feel better when I think about it. If whatever I am thinking about does not make me feel good, I am, from now on, stopping and choosing to change my thoughts about the subject to what feels good.
It will be interesting to see what effect this has, not only on me, but also for those currently working the help desk.