Facing Challenges with only 3 Choices

Written by: on Friday, January, 12th, 2018

2018 Life Lessons Series

Recently Melissa Garcia wrote a blog sharing some HOA Life Lessons we should consider for 2018. Those lessons were meant for both reflection and action in our HOA pursuits. Wanting to take this a step further, HindmanSanchez would like to share some other Life Lessons throughout the year, and will be posting a series collected from our wonderful work crew.

We are lucky enough to have some very talented people behind the scenes who help drive our business to success. One such talented professional is our legal administrator, Missy Hirst, someone who definitely helps us shine! Hope you enjoy our first Life Lesson blog from Missy.

By: Missy Hirst, MSLA, Legal Administrator, HindmanSanchez

Tolle says, “…change the situation…leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.” Another version says, “Accept it, change it, or leave it.”

I agree these three choices represent our options in almost every situation. But I think the order is off. I have strong Midwestern work ethic, so it seems lazy to simply accept things as they are. And throwing my hands up and walking away seems defeatist. So, here’s what works for me: Change it. Accept it. Leave it. And, always in that order.

I, like most people, am faced with challenges (a.k.a. problems) every day. My good friend is a drama queen who brings unnecessary drama to my life. My dog needs a hobby other than watching sports on tv. My husband needs training for how to behave in large crowds. (No, I don’t have those two reversed.) My parents are experiencing major medical expenses. I may need to terminate an employee because of poor performance even though they’re capable of being successful. The tree in my backyard desperately needs trimming. (Don’t tell my HOA!) A sponsor of a non-profit where I sit on the board may pull funding. And Game of Thrones is almost over forever.

When I look at everything facing me daily, it’s a wonder I’m not curled up in the fetal position. When I look at all of these issues, I feel paralyzed. I need to fix the situations. It’s what I do. I’m a fixer by choice. Because NOT fixing them means the problems will still be there tomorrow. And that fetal position looks better and better the longer I churn the problems in my head without resolution.

So, when facing a challenge, apply the 3 choices theory:

Change it. Address the problem. Find a solution. Find 5 solutions. Pick the best one, and get buy-in from key players. Form an implementation team. Create a plan and put it into action. Build a Gantt chart, if needed.

Accept it. If you can’t change it, then stop sulking. Find redeeming qualities of the situation and embrace them. Admit you’re not always the smartest one in the room and know that things may be the way they are for a reason which you don’t know about or understand. And then calendar one year out to try again. (Just because change can’t happen now, doesn’t mean it can never happen…)

Leave it. It’s a last resort, in my opinion. But, you’ve already tried to change the situation and maybe multiple times. Change hasn’t happened, and you believe change will never happen. You’ve tried accepting the situation, but you can’t because it doesn’t feel right.

Sometimes, when a situation doesn’t feel right to you, it’s because your being in the situation is what’s wrong. Find a better situation that feels right to you. You’re worth it, and that situation is not worthy of your efforts anymore. So, walk away. Life is short. If the situation is too important to walk away from, then go back to your only other two options: Change it, or Accept it.