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A Brighter Way to Solve Problems

By Joey Havens

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Crumbled candy wrapper on the ground.

Well, it’s 6 a.m. in Palm Springs and as I slip out of the room with no lights so I don’t wake CeCe, I breathe a sigh of relief as the door clicks softly as it closes. Now it’s off to grab a cup of coffee and then hit the gym before my meeting.

Walking along the dark hallway, there’s a blue and white object laying just in front of me. Stooping down to gaze closer, it’s a pair of swimming goggles someone has dropped on the way to the pool. Should I pick them up and turn them in at the lobby front desk? Nah, they will get to the pool and realize they are gone and retrace their steps. Probably not the best start for their day, but maybe they will find them right where they fell.

After my coffee and workout, walking back up the hallway that’s now brightened up from the beautiful sunrise, I see the goggles up ahead still laying in the hallway. Hmm, that doesn’t look just right. My gosh, it’s a candy bar wrapper wadded up in such a way that with very little light, I thought was goggles. Laughing, I grab my phone and take a quick picture.

Crumbled candy wrapper on the ground.

It hit me like a cold splash of water — we often see problems or concerns that aren’t the actual problem or certainly aren’t as big as we make them out to be. It’s so easy for us to go negative if we see a challenge coming our way. How often do we make it more of a problem than it really is? Do we worry too much about something that hasn’t happened?

Just like today, it’s better if we evaluate these concerns and challenges in fresh light before we waste our valuable energy. This light usually provides us a better way forward.

Now if I can just get this door open without too much light or noise so I don’t disturb CeCe.

CeCe: Good morning baby, is that you? I’m up and getting ready to go for a morning walk. Worry wasted, again.

Coming in 2023, my new book Leading with Significance breaks through the limiting barriers of common culture theory and demonstrates, with great transparency, the real human emotions that elevate a culture to one that is genuine, enduring and magnetic. Sign up today for updates at