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3/15/08

Settling Issues

Without effort, things have a way of piling up. For years I chaired a community garage sale fund-raiser for our fire department. As we packed the leftovers for Salvation Army pick-up, a helper suggested we cull a few items as “seed” for next year. Before long the storage unit overflowed with stuff.

This principle applies to unresolved issues. As strange as it seems, unresolved issues begat unresolved issues. Without effort they stack up. You keep adding to the pile. Consider the following thought to become settled.

Unresolved issues are merely unmade decisions. If looking at your desk, file cabinet, closet or garage produces frustration, it is probably you have unresolved issues begging for a resolve. Unresolved issues lurk in the background, distracting your thinking and prohibiting lack of focus. Pushing it to the proverbial “tomorrow” takes a toll on productivity, creativity and stress level.

No decision is a decision. It’s just that you have not let yourself know that you have made the decision to not decide. If the relationship is deteriorating or debt increasing, you have chosen to not address it. You are inert. You become stuck in limbo. Proclaiming, “This is driving me crazy” is to go around in circles without coming to a conclusion.

Resolve: Do not be like Don Quixote jousting at windmills. You must have a target in mind. What needs to be settled? Here are categories to consider:

  • Relationship issues like too much time apart, lack of communication, or unaddressed hurt feelings.
  • Neglected experience such as touring Europe, taking a hot-air balloon ride or mountain climbing.
  • Uncompleted projects like the partially read book or the shed half painted.
  • Postponed tasks; for example planting a garden or remodeling the kitchen.
  • Delayed goals such as more schooling, change jobs or build a new home.
  • Shelved finances needs like get out of debt, tithe, live within income, become investment savvy.
  • Deferred health decisions like exercise, balanced diet, rest

    Making that hard decision is so liberating. Stop the madness. Lay all the cards on the table and determine a game plan. Weigh and measure options and come to a conclusion. It energizes you. It clears your thinking and solidifies your focus. It releases the nagging “shoulds”. Go with your decision without second guessing. After a while reassess for possible adjustments.

    Out of sight, out of mind. There is some truth to this. Be selective with your choices. If you choose to store the unfinished project and relegate it retirement, it is out of your current energy field. If the errant child is sent packing your relationship problem increases. Perhaps you could waylay the issue by agreeing to disagree. Even in dissent, always hold the individual in high regard as a person of infinite worth and value.

    Ask the hard questions. Consider the following possibilities for the delay.
    · What resources are needed? (Or possibly have been mismanaged?)
    · Is it a lack of expertise? (What training needs to be acquired?)
    · What is the unconscious payoff of not doing it?
    · Is it a passive-aggressive way of control?

    Just do it. Go back to the hard questions and check all the reasons or excuses that apply. Determine if the unsettled issue is still viable. If so, give it the attention needed to begin and set a definite plan for follow through. If not, get it out of your energy field and let yourself know it.

    Revel in the liberation of having made a decision. Make a concerted effort to resolve issues within a timely manner. Set a maximum of thirty days.