Solve or Transcend? Where is the motivation?


They are to be solved.

That’s what I’m told business is all about and, now that Big Happy Life is a business, that’s what I must do. “You must solve a problem”, say the marketing experts and the sales gurus.

“What problem do you solve?”, ask the mentors.

I have grappled with this question for two years. What problem does Big Happy Life solve? I found answers but none were satisfactory and none really held up to scrutiny. After a while, my inability to answer sapped my confidence. It led me to doubt everything I’ve done, despite seeing massive and wonderful results in my own life through the methods I’ve employed. Why haven’t I been able explain what problem I solve?

Well, because that’s precisely the opposite question to the one that started Big Happy Life in the first place. I’ve been so desperate to learn from the gurus, I forgot to listen to my own intuition.

The problem with ‘problem solving’ is that it always brings the problem into focus and that, in my experience, is a problem because it makes the problem bigger. You see? It’s a problem.

Big Happy Life was never about problem solving. It was about transcending problems and arriving at a place where you are stronger, wiser, calmer and more inspired than any problems you face.

Last night, “Rise Up” by Andra Day featured in a movie I watched with my daughter. It reminded me of my original desire to rise beyond my limitations. At the time, I was grappling with my inability to parent the way I wanted, I felt small and lost and useless. I wanted to become the parent I imagined I’d be before adopting our children.

My first approach was a problem solving approach. I started a blog called Triggermummy, chronicling the problems I faced. I wrote about all the ways I was triggered and struggling to cope with the challenges of motherhood and adoption. I cried a lot and spent much of my time focusing on how badly I was failing my children. I didn’t feel better and I made very little progress towards becoming the parent I wanted to be.

I’m not sure why I chose that route. It’s not the route I’d have encouraged my corporate clients to take. With them, I already knew to encourage a goal-oriented approach. I’d explain that instead of facing the problem, they would do better to turn and face the other way. That way, they magnify the requirements for success rather than the reasons for failure. I spent more than a year facing the wrong way and making myself feel so much worse but finally I worked it out.

I shut down Triggermummy and started Big Happy Life. I turned away from the triggered, irrational, short-tempered and overwhelmed person I no longer wanted to be and turned towards the calm, loving, open, curious and inspiring person I wanted to become. And I started walking. One step at a time, one conversation at a time, one habit at a time.

Two years later I stand in the middle of a life that is more complicated than it was when I was Triggermummy but I am unafraid. I have become the woman who can face challenge and stay happy. I am the woman who doesn’t require perfection to find joy. I am the woman who can face her flaws and know that she is moving in a direction that will allow her to grow beyond them.

I believe there are other people out there who want to do the same – who want to rise beyond their limitations and show up intentionally for their loved ones and for themselves – with emphasis on the rising, the growing, the learning and the choice to focus on what’s ahead.

I think we need to keep our eyes on the things that inspire us and give us the strength we need to do hard things.

So now I can say I don’t help you solve your problems. I help you figure out how to grow into someone who can transcend them.

Work with me

If you’d like to feel stronger, trust yourself more and show up for yourself and your loved ones in intentional ways, I can help. Click here to book a chat.

Photo by Nicholas Sampson on Unsplash

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