I recently visited with a German-trained physician that told me, “We have an old saying in Germany… just because you have fleas doesn’t mean you don’t also have lice.” Now, before you decide you need to stay away from me from now on, he was talking figuratively, not literally. What he was saying is that you can focus on the obvious, more visible problem, but don’t overlook the possibility that there are two causes or problems that must be addressed.
This is great advice for us, as well. In our work life, we are often tempted to focus our attention on the most visible or most likely problem or root cause we face. We tend to be problem-solvers and focus our attention on the first known problem or root cause that we identify. When we find one likely root cause, we tend to stop looking for other contributing factors or causes that could influence the outcome. We are trained to identify the one true root cause and eradicate that. However, there may be another cause lurking that could impact the issue we are experiencing.
We also tend to be single-minded when facing issues or problems outside work. Many of us typically focus on the biggest or most visible issue we face. We think that dealing with that issue effectively will restore peace. However, we should remember that “we can eliminate the fleas, but still be plagued by those lousy lice.” I know that I am glad to have a physician with this viewpoint and attitude. By exploring all possibilities, we are more likely to truly solve our problems.
Let’s be thankful today for all the blessings in our lives. Have a terrific day! Thanks for all you do!
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