When to reject the first solution

My youngest son needed to close the garage door the other day but couldn’t reach the button. In order to close it he whacked it with the nearest item at hand  – a golf club. I bet you can figure out how that ended. Can you even get the cover of that part replaced? It got me thinking about how often we grab the first solution at hand without really thinking about possible consequences. Here are some of the lessons my kids have learned the hard way:

  • Riding a laundry basket down a flight of stairs is not the best way to get it to the basement
  • Threading something through the lock of a public bathroom is not the best way to close the door behind you
  • Two pairs of underwear is not a suitable substitute for a misplaced athletic supporter
  • Taking a cool-looking cheese spreader to school is a violation of the district’s zero-tolerance weapons policy

Obviously, these lessons learned could have been averted by 1) contemplating alternative solutions to the problem or 2) seeking advice from someone who could have provided wise counsel. (Note: in my home that would be me given that my husband recently gave some thought to one son’s proposal to ride his bike off a dock. Probably because he’s always wanted to do it himself. Those of you who know him will not be surprised.)

My advice? Unless someone’s bleeding don’t grasp at the first, most obvious solution. Take a few minutes to think about your options and seek advice before you act. After all, what is a “lesson learned” but a solution that wasn’t the right fit for the problem? Failure to do so could result in a bruised behind, bruised ego or worse yet – a mark on your permanent record.

Send an example of a lesson learned the hard way to sarah@dayonebusinessservices.com – if I use it I’ll feature your business.

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