If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
— Abraham Maslow
When we can take a long view of our problems, we can sometimes see that we’re using inappropriate tools to try to solve them. What’s necessary for us to do is to move away, to detach. That may show us a whole new context into which our problem fits, and in which it may not even be a problem.
Detachment is hard to achieve when we’re deeply hooked into a situation. When we send ourselves drastic messages like “now or never!” we’re pressing our noses right up against the problem – a position in which it’s difficult to maintain a balanced view. To stop and say, “If not now, then perhaps some other time,” unhooks us and lets us remember that life is richer and more varied than we thought when we were hooked.
Crisis thinking can be like a hammer – it flattens everything. This can be our way of trying to control the outcome of our individual struggle. But when we remember that we make up only small parts of one grand and beautiful design. We can surrender our problems to it.
To be a competent worker, I will seek out the tools that are best suited to my task.
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation