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November 14, 2013

Eyes Wide Open: Magical Thinking Won’t Solve Serious Issues


People have an uncanny ability to not see what’s right in front of them and, instead, paint a rosy picture about issues that are anything but rosy. They can assume there are easy answers for problems that are anything but easy. They can turn a blind eye to major upsets to which no one in their right mind should be turning a blind eye. And they can wish so hard that things aren’t as bad as they seem that they can actually start believing that things really aren’t as bad as they seem.

Too often people simply want to believe that things will work out. They want to think everything will be okay. In an effort to believe things will be okay, they begin to delude themselves. Deluding themselves can take many forms:

  • A couple fights constantly and tells themselves that as soon as they have a child everything will work itself out.
  • An employee tells himself that even though his boss has already lied to him three times about giving him a raise, this time it will be different and his boss will come through on his word.
  • A girlfriend convinces herself that marriage will magically keep her boyfriend’s eyes and hands from wandering.
  • A father believes that as soon as his son finds the “right” job, his drinking will stop and no longer be an issue.

Applying magical solutions to serious issues is a losing plan. Regardless of whether we’re talking about a friend, boss, lover or spouse, the bottom line is...serious issues require serious solutions. A lying boss is not going to all of a sudden stay true to his word. Having a baby is no more going to fix an unhealthy marriage than marriage is going to fix a cheating boyfriend. The moment we brush off the seriousness of major issues, we begin to insure that those issues will grow. Wishful thinking will not, does not and cannot solve real problems.

If there’s something you don’t like in your relationship, job, friendship, etc., then do yourself a favor and truly address the issue. Keep your eyes wide open. Dare to see what you see and have the courage to have your back by addressing the hard issues. This one move will save you years of pain down the road.

Challenge: Don’t minimize, make up magical solutions or turn a blind eye to real struggles right in front of you. Face the serious issues head on and stop convincing yourself that everything will be okay if you just let life happen. It won’t.












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