We are all in this together

Whether we focus on the problems or the solutions is up to us.


Tony Robbins must be doing something right. After 45 years of life coaching, the 63-year-old motivational speaker is still motivating. That's no easy feat in today's world.

But it's one reason why Robbins has made a successful career. Take this recent LinkedIn post from Robbins:

"We can get better results with ourselves and others by asking better questions. One proven strategy is to use an OUTCOME FRAME. If you ask someone, "What’s bothering you?" or "What’s wrong?" you’ll usually get a lengthy dissertation on just that, THE PROBLEM.

But if you ask them, “What do you want?” or “How do you want to change things?” you’ve redirected the conversation FROM THE PROBLEM, TO THE SOLUTION.

In any situation, no matter how dismal, there’s a desirable outcome to be achieved.

Your goal should be to change direction TOWARD THE DESIRED SOLUTION and AWAY FROM THE PROBLEM. Do this by asking the right questions.

Here’s one more important frame... Don’t ask your kid WHY they're having trouble with their algebra. Ask them WHAT THEY NEED TO DO to perform better.

“Why” questions can get us explanations, justifications, and excuses. Good communicators aren’t interested in rationalizing why something is going WRONG. They want to find out how to do it RIGHT.

Asking better questions will always lead us in the right direction."

Learning to focus on the solution and not the problem can change lives. What we focus on expands. When we focus on problems, we get more problems. When we focus on solutions, we get more solutions.

Some people don't have an optimistic view of the world or their futures after a tough few years. Poor mental health has skyrocketed and created a pessimistic generation that expects negative outcomes and sees many problems as unsolvable. 

We can't control the uncertain future. But we can control how we respond to it.

Some people are responding in inspiring ways and working to create solutions every day. They are teachers. All teachers are not created equal, but one school with teachers focused on solutions is Ella Baker Global Studies and Humanities Magnet School in Uptown Minneapolis. I have been getting to know the Ella Baker community over the past few months, and their community keeps growing stronger.

At Ella Baker, they support their students with real, tangible skills that they can use to become active and thriving members of our community. As a magnet school within Minneapolis Public Schools, Ella Baker focuses on global competency and humanities. With their global competencies, they are teaching students how to solve problems, collaborate, think critically, empathize with others, and more. 

They are also creating changemakers. Ella Baker wants their students to "Think Global, Act Local" by identifying problems and actively seeking solutions in their local communities.

May is community action month, and May 1-5 is teacher appreciation week. Now would be a good time to take action — any action — to show gratitude.

We are all in this together. It takes community to build community, and we are in a new era where showing up is the first step to connection. 

Whether we focus on the problems or the solutions is up to us.

Hope is not a strategy, but like better questions, hope points us in the right direction. 

Every time you show up (anywhere, anytime), you can give hope to someone. You might not even realize it. The hope you give is connection. We all have a fire inside us, and we can give that fire to each other. That fire is hope, and it can inspire people. Just like Tony Robbins.

Early in Robbins' career, he learned to walk on fire and incorporated walking on hot coals into his seminars to symbolize overcoming fear and unleashing the power within us. "Once you start doing what you thought was impossible, you'll conquer the other fires of your life with ease."

It doesn't always go as planned, and a few years ago, some feet got burned. Robbins claimed it was a misunderstanding, and no one really got hurt. After that, Bill Nye, the "Science Guy," had a Netflix series called "Bill Nye Saves the World and looked at the practice of fire walking in one of the episodes. He determined you didn't need to pay $5000 for a spiritual journey. You could fire walk for free.

Whatever your position on fire walking, we all have a fire inside us. It's what keeps us going. When that fire goes out, people lose hope. How we get that hope is by connecting with one another. That connection is how we create solutions.

Remember, love is an action. But love is also a lens. It's how we look at things.

Let's look at things different. It could be just the spark we need.


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