Solving Problems: Step One

A wise man once told me that whenever I have a problem, step one is to look in the mirror and ask, “Is it me? Am I the problem? am I doing something wrong here? Is my behavior offensive? my attitude skewed? Wrong tone of voice? Poor choice of words?“ 

He said, “First look at yourself, to consider whether you are the root cause of the problem. For you are the only one over which you have control …and I know that’s debatable, because you can barely control yourself,” —he knew me well—“but since you can barely control yourself, how could you possibly expect to control others?” 

“So next time you have a problem, step one is go to the mirror. And if it turns out you are not the source of the problem, at least you’ll likely step away looking better than when you showed up.”  

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