September 20, 2016

The Lost Art of Trying

The Lost Art of Trying

The Lost Art of Trying

Lingering within any work environment (no matter the size) is a deadly germ that threatens to infect the doers, the ones that try to figure out a solution before throwing hands up in disgust. This virus is an enabler of the non doers who find it commonplace to blame the system, the tool or a changed process. Figure it out is not in their vocabulary instead a synonym for “not my job” which allows them to recede to the comfort of how it has always been. The virus fatigues the area of the brain that sees a challenge for what it is, an invitation to problem solve. Not a reason to pass the buck.

This affliction, as it were, is not something taken lightly because, when allowed to spread, stagnation follows and creativity becomes something others are responsible for. You have encountered it, of this I am sure, when a colleague resorts to complaints rather than simple troubleshooting. When eyes are rolled if a simple request falls outside someone’s comfort zone. Creativity is not just art and music. It is problem solving. It is defining a solution outside the norm based on limitations of a team or process. It is trying! It is not just a quote for posting so others can like but not follow. It is failing so you know what does not work and trying again to potentially fail in a new way.

Patience is tested when someone has clearly lost that childhood interest of trying. Excuse making becomes a talent at this point:

  • “I’m not familiar with that”
  • “That’s not how we have done it”
  • “I normally just ask someone to do this for me”

Say, rather, that you have given up. That spending a few minutes trying a new method is such a foreign concept that it is deemed unworthy BEFORE you have even tried. Defeat has been accepted. Buck has been passed.

If I dare to push back and ask questions such as “what have you tried so far?” or “did you try another way?”, I may as well be committing a sin against humanity. When an excuse is provided, I am to accept that excuse and go about solving problems for another? The reason I have come to understand the problem is because, at one point, I was presented with the same and had to work through options to solve. In short…I tried. It uncovered other aspects of which I was unaware. Other connections which may deem useful for future tasks. I am robbing someone of those connections and lessons by my doing for them. Why is this awful?

The Lost Art of Trying raises its ugly head all too often in the corporate world. When it does, it defies logic and removes hope. Sitting stagnant is no way to live or work. My methods are far from perfect and some may say practical. A round about solution to a problem may seem a waste of time. Gladly would I waste time if it means I try and do.


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