Rise Above The Problem To Solve It
October 24, 2020
Five young friends once went for a day-long trek in a thick jungle and got lost. Unfortunately, they did not have a compass with them, and they had no way to figure out how to get out of the forest.
What was the way out?
One said, ” I’ll just go straight ahead, and hopefully, I’ll be able to come off the forest from the other side.”
The Second friend decided, ” I don’t want to take chances. I’ll try and retrace my path and go back the way I came.”
The Third friend being cockier, decided, ” I have an instinct about forests. I’ll take a path that is going to the right. I am sure I’ll be able to get out.”
The fourth guy had strong views about everyone else “Everyone has got it wrong. I think the way to get out is by taking the path to the left.”
The four friends looked at the last one asking him what he would like to do. The fifth friend was a wise one. He was clear in his head that he did not know how to get out of the forest. Aimlessly going in some direction and hoping for fate to help him was not a comfortable choice. He decided he will stop where he was, rest for a bit, and then figure out what to do. He was also sure that his four friends would come back to where he was, admitting defeat.
The four friends moved ahead in their respective directions, front, back, right, and left, while the fifth friend stayed put.
It was sweltering hot in the jungle. Very soon, the four friends were exhausted, and they were getting nowhere. They decided to retrace their way back to where the fifth friend said he would wait.
They found him resting peacefully in the shade of a large tree. Hearing the friends getting back, the fifth friend woke up and said he had a plan.
He would go up.
“What do you mean- go up ?” The friends asked him.
“This tree seems like it is the tallest amongst all the trees. Now that I am well rested with my energy restored, I will climb the tree and get to the tallest point. From there, I will be able to see beyond the forest to know the best direction to take. I need you guys to give me some support and push me up.”
With his friends’ help, the fifth one went up the tree and got to see beyond the forest from above. He figured out where the exit routes out of the forest were. Getting down, he led his friends safely out of the woods.
See The Problem From A Higher Perch
The forest in this story is a metaphor for challenges, problems we encounter in life. Many times we don’t know how to deal with the issues, and we lose our way. Instead of taking a pause and admitting that we have no clue how to deal with the problem, we hustle and aimlessly take some action hoping for a lucky break, which rarely comes.
When we are too close to the problem, we lose perspective. We don’t know what the right direction is to take and what the right actions should be. The more effort we put, the more we lose our way.
We need to find a way to “rise” above the problem. When the friends were at the ground level, it was almost impossible to find the direction out of the forest. Similarly, when we are in the throes of the problem(most times, we are a part of the problem!!), we lose our ability to figure a solution. We need to rise above the situation and take a fresh perspective. We need to be able to see the Big Picture. And, most times, for us to see the big picture, we need external help. Someone who can push us up to get to that higher maturity.
- You feel stuck in your career and don’t know what to do- Seek out a mentor, a friend, or a guide- anyone who can help you get that big picture view.
- You are in the rut of a relationship problem, and whatever you are doing, it only seems to be making it worse-It may be best to take external help to get you a higher perspective.
In some situations, you have to rise above the problem to figure out how to solve the problem.