My lovely wife was chiding my five-year-old daughter the other day. She said something like "I’m tired of you arguing and complaining every time I tell you to do something. Your number one problem is complaining and whining instead of obeying!" With tears in her eyes and a pout on her lips, my little princess paused, then with a thoughtful look asked "What is my number two problem?" And that got me to thinking...
I know what my number one problem is. So does most everyone. (erm... theirs, not mine.) I struggle with it constantly. I beat myself up about it. I agonize over how to cure it. I buy tapes and CD’s and go to seminars about it, at least I would if I had the time. But what’s my number two problem? If I figure out what it is, could I fix it? Is it interfering somehow with me fighting the number one problem?
Perhaps, in that momentary flash of inspiration, my precious little waif discovered something true, perhaps even revolutionary on an individual basis. Maybe I’m just tilting at windmills if I wage war against my primary reason for the failures I experience in life. Maybe I’m going after the general and forgetting about the rest of the army arrayed against me. Why couldn’t I change to a tactical perspective - forget about capturing the flag, and start trying to find the supply lines and avenues of communication. Maybe if I knock down the number three problem, assassinate numbers four and seven, poison number ten and eliminate seventeen and twenty-six, I’ll weaken the ability of number one to hamper me. Perhaps if I can find their training camps and lob a figurative missle or two - what, then, would happen?
Maybe I’ve been handling my personal growth all wrong these many years. Maybe instead of experiencing the repeated failures of my impotent attempts to overthrow number one, I should experiencing successes by picking on some problems my own size. Maybe this will work. Perhaps... just perhaps... I think I can do it. I will do it. Then, someday when I've prevailed, I'll come back for number one. And when I've beat that, number two will be next.!