Imagine it's a rainy night. And suddenly you hear a drop of water coming from the roof.
One drop, two drops. Five hundred drops and a bit of mopping up later, and you've got a bucket under the leak. So what do you do next morning? Do you leave the buckets or do you resolve to get someone to fix the leak in the roof?
Not surprisingly most of us would make sure we fixed the leak.
Perhaps the entire roof has to be changed. And yes, roofs cost upwards of $5000-10,000 to replace, but if it needs replacing, then that's what needs to be done. We know for sure that if we don't fix the roof, the leak will spread. It won't be just a matter of a bucket here or there.
Soon enough the leaks will start to spoil furniture, valuables and most importantly create a constant dampness. This dampness could lead to mould and a whole bunch of health problems.
So with roofs we don't take half measures
We don't just attack the “drip”, but actually take on the structure and fix the underlying issue completely. Unfortunately this isn't the case with most other things we do. And in the book on “Path of Least Resistance”, Robert Fritz outlines exactly what happens.
Robert talks about the pendulum system we tend to use
The pendulum works like this: You have a problem. e.g. famine in a country.
1) Problem= Famine in a country.
2) The world wakes up, and sends aid.
3) The problem eases because of the temporary aid and food.
4) The world decides they've done their bit because things have “normalised”.
5) They stop the aid and food.
6) The country is now worse off and more famine ridden in the years to come.
Why is this the case?
It's simple to understand why the famine strikes back. When the aid comes in there's zero incentive to work, because now food is often cheaper than it costs to grow it in the fields.
So the farmer throws in the towel, and stops growing the little food he was once growing. It's easy to see what happens next. The aid dries up, and now the country is worse off than before.
And the reason they've slipped into this crevasse is because the world attacked the problem instead of the structure.
So what is structure?
Structure is mainly attacking the root of the problem, and using the problem merely as a symptom. And a few examples would sure help at this point in time.
1) Headache: Let's say you have a headache. The tendency is to pop a couple of pills and go on our way. In the ancient medical practice of Ayurveda, this problem is tackled differently. Your headache is not merely a headache, but rather symptoms of a bigger issue.
And so ayurveda takes on the problem, helping you with exercise, food and a way of life, rather than just trying to fix the headache. The system of ayurveda fixes the structure first, and the problem goes away.
2) Learning a new skill: I was learning a new program (InDesign) and found that I couldn't concentrate for more than 10 minutes at a time. It's easy to think it was my lack of focus, but lack of focus is a problem, and so we look at structure. I had to change “where” I learned InDesign.
At my desk I was easily distracted with email or Facebook. If I took my laptop, put it on my coffee table and then learned InDesign, I found it hard to jump back and forth to email. So I was able to focus. Again it was the underlying structure that had to be changed.
3) Writing: Often folks say they are not born-writers. Or they have writer's block. Rubbish. No one is a born writer and writer's block is a stupid, insolent myth. The problem with writing or any sort of creative work is understanding the structure.
If you understand the structure of how to construct something you can write gags for cartoons, or write articles, or write books on demand. The super-productive folk aren't smarter than you. They've either stumbled on, or worked out that the process of creation isn't the problem at all.
It's the structural elements. Get them right, and you can be creative for the next forty-three years in a row.
But isn't structure overkill?
It's easy to pop a couple of tablets and get rid of the headache, right? Right, until you realise that most folks around you don't get headaches. Suddenly it dawns on you that what seems like a headache, isn't just a headache. And that examining that underlying structure isn’t overkill at all.
It’s simply an examination of what’s the root cause behind the leak
A leak that will spread to other parts of the house.
That will destroy the furniture, create dampness and mould.
And slow you down like crazy.
Drip, drip, drip.
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Elizabeth R. says
Interesting points. Structure makes a difference in what I get accomplished during my day.