Inconvenience VS Problem

Thirty years ago, Robert Fulghum published a simple credo—a credo that became the phenomenal #1 New York Times bestseller titled All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. The book is spun with Fulghum’s musings on life, death, love, pain, joy, sorrow and where to find the best chicken-fried steak in the USA. If you haven’t read it recently or never did, do yourself a favor and read it.  It’s brimming with the very stuff of life and the significance found in the smallest details.  Somehow, it brings some peace to the chaotic world we live in.
 
I became a fan of Fulghum and embraced his thinking and philosophy into my own life.  One of my favorite quotes is from his book, Uh-oh - Some Observations From Both Sides Of The Refrigerator Door It has helped me throughout the years deal with the roller coaster of life.  Cut this one out and paste it to your bathroom mirror.
 
“One of life's best coping mechanisms is to know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire – then you’ve got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference.” ― Robert Fulghum,
 
I remind my family business clients that life is just inherently messy and fragile, and the same goes for their businesses.  Nothing is perfect.  Every day as you face the challenges of business and life, the ability to distinguish between what is inconvenient vs what is a problem is a critical skill to leadership success.  If everything is a problem, nothing is a problem, and pretty soon the system and the people in it implode.      

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