Identify the problem behind the problemArts
“The fact that you don’t have any money is a result of all your other problems. You have thinking problems, attitude problems, self-esteem problems. You are lazy. You lack discipline. You lack integrity. You don’t take responsibility. You lack goals. Your priorities are out of whack. Your biggest problem is not in your wallet or your bank account. Your biggest problem is between your ears. You will fix your money problems when you fix your other problems.”
Larry Winget: You’re Broke Because You Want to Be
There is a total quality management technique called “the 5 whys.” When you ask why something went wrong, the first response is usually superficial. You have to ask the question five times before you really get to root causes. Here’s an example using a hypothetical problem at a hypothetical car manufacturer:
Q#1: Why are our legal expenses so far over budget?
A#1: Because we’ve lost so many lawsuits.
Q#2: Why have we lost so many lawsuits?
A#2: Because wheels have been falling off cars and causing injuries.
Q#3: Why have wheels been falling off our cars?
A#3: Because assembly line workers haven’t been installing them properly.
Q#4: Why haven’t they been installing them properly?
A#4: Because they haven’t been properly trained.
Q#5: Why haven’t they been properly trained?
A#5: Because the training budget was cut so we could hire more lawyers.
By the time you got to why #5 you are addressing root causes. And more often than not, you are also looking in the mirror. As Larry Winget (who calls himself “the pit bull of motivation”) says, if your financial world turns upside down, by the time you get to why #5 you will have stopped blaming your employer (or ex-employer), the economy, the government, the stock market, or anything else, and will be looking directly at the face in the mirror.