A problem is a question you haven’t yet answered to a level that has fulfilled you. – Tony Robbins and here
What does that mean?
This quote is about being done. As long as you aren’t fulfilled, as long as you are not satisfied, you aren’t done. You still have a problem (his term) and need to refine your current answer, or find a better answer.
If you were fulfilled and satisfied with your present answer to the issue, you wouldn’t still have a problem, right? So if you still have the feeling that it’s not quite right, not completely finished, you know you’re not quite done.
In considering this quote, I have found it applies to every aspect of my life. Relationships? Yep. Projects? Yep. The list goes on and on. It’s just a matter of sticking to it, and trying new approaches until you manage to get satisfaction or feel fulfilled.
Why is keeping after it until you are satisfied important?
If you don’t finish, you won’t be satisfied, right? Conversely, if you aren’t satisfied, you probably aren’t finished, at least not to the level of feeling fulfilled. And that’s why you keep after something, until it feels right.
It isn’t as much about tenacity or persistence, as it is about gaining the feeling of fulfillment or satisfaction which comes from a proper and complete solution to the issue at hand. You may try something, but not be completely satisfied with the way it turns out.
Try again. This time with a little more emphasis on the part which didn’t turn out as well as you would have liked. Repeat until you’ve managed to get it done, and done to your satisfaction. Then, by definition, the problem is solved.
Where can I apply this in my life?
We all have things which bug us. Even something as simple as a picture not hung quite right, leaning a little to the left, will bug you. You won’t feel fulfilled, you won’t be satisfied, you won’t be done, until it is fixed.
While the interior decor might not bother you, I’m fairly confident that there is some aspect of your life where this has been an issue. Can you remember a time when you were just not feeling it? When you just couldn’t consider it done?
When have you been in the position where something was done, but not done to your satisfaction? How did that feel, and what did you do to get it squared away? Or does it still bother you, all these days, weeks, months, or even years later?
Most of us either fix it, or drop it. Sometimes dropping it is the proper way to go, especially if it will take extraordinary measures to get it finished. However, for lesser things, it’s probably best to get them done correctly and get it over with, right?
What was it about these partially done, or not-quite-right, parts of your life that bugged you? Take a moment and grab some paper. Write down what the ‘problem’ was, and why it bothered you to not have it completely resolved. What did you need to do to resolve the issue? Write that down as well.
Take a look at what you have. What seems to bug you so much that you have to get it resolved? While at times that can be a disadvantage, you can also use it as a way to make yourself take that extra attempt, as you try to get it just a little bit better, right?
Spend a moment to try to find what really motivates you in this regard. Is it the perfectionist in you? Is it something you feel you should be more skilled at, and therefore hold yourself to a higher standard? Was it something you know you rushed, and regret not finishing it correctly?
Recently, I made a monitor stand for work out of wood. I didn’t sand it as much as I usually would have, and every day at work, I regret having stopped before finishing. I already have a plan to use an upcoming holiday to take it back home and finish it to a level that will satisfy me, and leave me feeling fulfilled.
What do you have waiting for you to complete? What do you want to go back and finish, to a level which you know you can achieve? What are you waiting for? Get busy!