Calm in the Reconstruction

Click above for an overview from Martha Lynn Mangum

My husband is a builder.

Although his business card reads “General Contractor”, his title is more accurately described as “Problem Solver”.  He doesn’t just build homes; he solves problems every day.

In custom home construction, he wears a construction hat, collaborates on architecture, creates a budget, manages sub-contractors, works in supply chain and project management, and, occasionally, is a marriage counselor. 

It wasn’t until we built our first home that I understood that the process of building a house is an unfolding event. The architectural plans are a great guide, but lots of changes occur along the way when you take a 2-D drawing and build a 3-D house. There are constant revisions and course corrections.

Image Credit: Mangum Builders

We are now in the middle of a re-model on a different house and the problem solving is at an even greater need. As demolition of the existing structure is occurring, we are having to redesign our plans based on the treasures we have discovered under the surface. However, as I watch my husband calmly reside in the creative and critical thinking corners of his mind, I realize a solution will come soon.

He’s persistent that way. He believes there is always a solution to a problem. 

“Every problem has a solution. You just have to be creative enough to find it.”Travis Kalanick

I recognize that because I have stability as a Core Value, I tend to react to issues and problems as a huge inconvenience to my sense of peace. I can be very literal and expect everything to go according to plan. If I’m not careful, I may get stuck in the blame game.

At some point, I have to make a choice. Do I stay paralyzed by the circumstances, or do I shift my mindset to find new solutions? Can I “remodel” my thinking?

“Sometimes the easiest way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem.” -Jonathan Mead

Here’s what I discovered…When I focus on the solution, I feel empowered, productive, and energized. When I feel empowered, productive, and energized, I have even more space to create solutions.

Do all of my solutions succeed? No. However, it helps me move toward a solution that will succeed, and it sends me back into creativity mode. This is when the building of my metaphorical house begins. I pull out the old wiring and walls, and design a beautiful framework that supports the outcome. 

To put it simply, we have a choice.

Do we focus on living in the demolition zone or we do we focus on living in the reconstruction of solutions? What do you do? Are you ready for a new space to reside in your head? 

“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities; an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.” Harry S. Truman

One last note, I highly recommend the Netflix documentary My Octopus Teacher. Not only is it an extraordinary story, it is a perfect example of the ability of wildlife and nature to intuitively focus on solutions. For creatures, it literally defines life or death. They don’t have time for blame, only course corrections.

We can learn a lot from nature

Always learning,

Martha Lynn

Fundamental #18: PRACTICE BLAMELESS PROBLEM SOLVING   Focus on finding a solution, not who is at fault. Apply your creativity, spirit and enthusiasm to the development of solutions.  Identify lessons learned and use those lessons to improve processes, so we learn from every experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *