It’s very tempting to search for quick fix solutions. That antidote or magic bullet that looks like it will solve the problem fast, without too much fuss. And, of course, we need quick fix solutions sometimes. The danger is when we begin to rely on them as our default strategy.
A place for quick fix solutions
Emergencies are classic situations when a temporary quick fix might be the most useful initial response. If there is a fire, put it out first. But what happens once the fire is out?
Extinguishing the fire and quickly repainting the damaged areas might allow you to bring the building back into use, but the underlying problem is still unaddressed.
What if there was an investigation? An attempt to understand what features in the building contributed to the fire. How long had the problems been present? Who/what was involved? Who was aware? Who was not aware? What was your role in creating the fire? What could you do to prevent/mitigate future fires?
Clearly, these are questions that will take time to get to the bottom of. And, like our metaphorical fire, this is true of many personal and organisational issues. A deeper understanding will require a genuine willingness to look beneath the surface. A willingness to ask and answer tough questions. This takes courage.
Fear can stop us from looking deeper. We may be afraid of what we might find. What could enable us to dare to look closer is curiosity ― a genuine desire to understand what is actually going on. After all, wouldn’t you like to know?
There is also that minor detail that if we don’t bother to delve deeper, the building might actually burn to the ground at some point.
It is easy to focus on quick fix solutions, particularly when fast, observable results are very much in demand. We can be tempted to paint the walls and get back to business as usual, when what is really needed is a closer look at what lies beneath. Sometimes, we will have to fight fires, fast. The question is: What will you do once the fire is out?
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