Own My Growth

Helping folks with practical tips to manage themselves better

The Two Problems

The Two Problems

One of the privileges of being a parent is that I can preach to my kids even if they don’t like it. I can’t do that to others :)!!

A few days back, I got to exercise my privilege with my younger son. It was regarding his musical practice. I felt that he was stagnating in his skills, and I wanted him to make some adjustments in his approach. I wanted him to challenge himself to try out new stuff so that he could grow as a musician.

My son straightaway rejected my feedback. He felt that there was nothing wrong with how he approached his musical practice and that I had no right to preach to him, particularly when I hadn’t succeeded at pursuing music myself.

I was not one to take his rejection without a fight. So I decided to tell him about the Two Problems.

The first problem is the problem. I think you are stagnating in your musical journey.

The second problem is your unwillingness to admit the problem, talk about the issue, and be open to taking help from musicians more experienced than you (I was referring to his elder brother, who is a more accomplished musician).

I think I managed to get my son’s attention with the analogy of The Two Problems. He thought about what I said and promised to consider my feedback.

I remembered the concept of the two problems from a blog post by Seth Godin a decade and a half back titled two problems. All of us have to deal with the two problems.

Whether at a personal level or in a workplace, there are issues, challenges, and problems- bad habits, relationship issues, customer service, or market share problems. They are all the first problems.

The second problem is when you don’t admit to the problems. The first problem never goes away if you don’t acknowledge it exists, clearly and loudly and often, and then ask for help.

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