I can often fall into the following trap. Faced with a constraint, I try to overcome it with all of my power. The trickiness of the trap is that the constraint binds how I think about the situation. I focus only on it, and how to attenuate it. The constraint defines my vision.
One day some years ago, as I was caught in this trap, my dad posed a liberating question. He asked, “have you ever thought about how good this situation can be?”
Aha! I had been so focused on how to make a situation less bad, that I had forgotten that it could be good.
By focusing on the possibility, I was freed to think differently. That little question changed the story and, thereby, the situation. It helped me play to win rather than play not to lose.
If, like me, you are ever mired in a battle of wills with a constraint, I wonder if you’ll wonder how good the situation could be?