Relentless Root Cause Analysis

What do you do when you find your back against the wall?  Do you start to panic?  Do you go into a spiral of self-pity talking about how impossible everything is for you?  Do you look to blame other people for the position that you find yourself in?  What do you do?  I’m finding myself in this position right now in a particular area of my life, and in the past I would have done everything that these questions are suggesting, but now, I have a different approach.

My approach is simple.  Discover the true root of the problem and then find a solution that will help you fix it.  In the Aerospace and Power industries, when an issue is discovered with a product that is manufactured by one of the companies in these industries Engineers commonly go through what is called a Relentless Root Cause Analysis (RRCA).  These engineers won’t stop digging until they find the “root” of the problem because they know that like an invasive species of plant, you can’t fix the problem without dealing with the root, or in this case the source of the problem.  The funny thing about an analysis like this is once you discover the root of the problem, you may find that there are a few solutions that are “right” for solving it, but you usually only find 1 solution that is the “best” for truly fixing the problem.

Yet some of us when dealing with our own real life problems forget that if we don’t discover the root of the problem and treat it there, we’ll never get a permanent solution.  At best we may experience temporary relief. Often, to perform an RRCA on our own problems we’ll need some objective help because we don’t always see or hear (sometimes by choice) what our problems truly are as we don’t always want to face the truth about ourselves and our own deficiencies.  Yet if you are truly going to change and have permanent solutions to real problems, you must face up to the truth of who and where you are right now so that you can see the reality of your situation as it stands.  Once you do this, you will be able to see and embrace if you so choose, the truth of who you can (and will) be once a solution is discovered and lived out.

But be patient, it took time to get to the place of seeing the problem for what it is, and it will take time for the symptoms to get better.  Just know that as long as you keep moving positively forward in the direction of the best solution then everything will work out the way it truly is supposed to; not because of some pie in the sky ideal, or because it’s a nice thing to say, but because you have discovered the root of the problem, found the best solution, and are living it every day for the rest of your life.

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