Ah, another parable. In life you will be given challenges. If you look at these as insurmountable problems that are getting in your way, then you are going to have a hard time dealing with life. On the other hand if you look at these challenges as challenges or opportunities to solve a puzzle, you are going to have a very creative and exciting life; because life will throw you curve balls when you least expect it.

You show up to work and find out that you have no water; a pump breaks down in the middle of a project or things just aren’t going your way. You can get mad, scream and curse all you want but it won’t help. You could curl up in a ball and whimper because you’re having a bad morning, day, life. None of these is really a solution (although, I’ll admit, screaming and swearing do happen on those days).

What to do? First take a deep breath, center yourself and put on your problem solver hat. It’s game time! And when you solve that problem either write it down or remember it because that problem will probably come up again or someone is going to ask you about something like it and you will have the answer all ready (won’t you be the fountain of knowledge then). As for a broken pump, make sure you have a spare, a work around or your plumber’s number handy. To quote “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”

“Don’t Panic”

The most important thing is to be flexible and agile in your thoughts and abilities. When starting a project sometimes it can pay off to do a “worst case scenario” drill. This can be as simple as knowing where something important is (fire extinguisher, Band-Aids or the shut off switch for a piece of equipment) or it can cover serious matters (where is the phone to call  911 or is there someone in the group who is trained in CPR?). Believe it or not this is extra important for things you have done a million times before and therefore do on automatic pilot (is the cordless phone in its cradle? Is the First-Aid kit stocked?) It’s only paranoia when nothing goes wrong. When things go badly you are prepared.

Sometimes it’s the little things that get you. I have a friend who was going into a large, swimming pool sized; pit to work on a piece of equipment. He was wearing a respirator, he was hot and cranky and he was ready to get the work done. Just before he went down someone asked if the air had been tested in the pit; a small, very important, thing that could have cost my friend their life.

So, again, don’t panic, take a deep breath, put your thinking cap on and figure out the puzzle (and write down the solution for future reference). Cheers!


AuthorCaitlin Prueitt & Chris Neumann