There are causes. And there are effects.
If we are unhappy with an effect, then we adjust the cause.
Duh! Why are you wasting our valuable time stating the obvious?
Duh, indeed! So you and I are in total agreement then. If we want to change an effect, the best course of action is to change the cause. If we only fiddle with the effect but don’t do anything to the cause, then we are doomed to get an unending stream of the same undesirable effects. Right?
Then how come government, business, education, medicine, agriculture, parents, and, for that matter, everyone else attack effects (symptoms, problems) and ignore (for the most part) the causes?
Look at modern medicine. You have a headache? Modern medicine doesn’t care what the cause may be. It could be structural, chemical, viral, etc. Here, just take this pill to mask the pain (effect).
You can’t sleep? Take this pill. You have high blood pressure? Take this pill. You are depressed? Take this pill. Very little attention, if any, is given to addressing the causes of those effects/symptoms/problems. Instead of locating the cause, they attend to the effect and hope the cause fixes itself. To this end, an obscenely greedy multi-mega-buck industry was built for the sole purpose of masking effects/symptoms/problems instead of addressing causes.
Modern medicine isn’t the only offender. There’s government’s approach, and agriculture’s approach, and education’s approach. The list is painfully long. While everyone will agree with the theory that addressing the cause is the best way to get a different effect, few people and/or institutions actually do it in practice.
It is because the effects are easily seen yet the causes are frequently hidden from view and, as a result, are completely misdiagnosed.
So instead of dealing with the cause that they cannot see
and/or locate, people attack the effect. They paint the leaves green as opposed to watering the root.
Some quasi-wiser people try to figure out the cause of a problem by analyzing the symptoms. That can be a tedious hit-or-miss approach which results in mostly misses. A deeper wisdom is required when it comes to locating hidden causes of problems. That wisdom requires a new perspective – one that conceptualizes a problem-free or ideal state and uses that model as its basis. In other words, instead of looking at symptoms and trying to figure out a cure, the alternative approach starts from the perspective of the healthy body and using reverse-engineering figures out what imbalances must take place in order for those symptoms to arise.
It is a subtle yet powerful distinction. The first way starts with the effects and looks inside. The other way starts inside and looks out. The first way looks at the effects and tries to discern the cause. The other takes the perspective of the cause and looks outward.
The difference can be seen in the approach of Abraham Maslow who studied healthy, self-actualized people versus the orientation of other clinical psychologists who focused exclusively on mental aberrations.
When you take this type of inside-out, Maslovian approach, solutions become more readily evident. Your focus switches from treating symptoms to bringing strength and immunity. Instead of dealing with the darkness, you bring light. Instead of dealing with hate, you bring love. Instead of dealing with problems, you bring solutions.
If you applied this approach in a business setting, you would start with a vision of your ideal. Then by “looking back” to where your business and/or situation currently is, the kind of activity that would be necessary to realize your ideal would become obvious. So instead of scrambling about putting out fires, you quietly build strong, sustainable, fire-retardant systems.
Hard work advocates run around like heads with their chickens cut off dealing with endless symptoms, solving nothing, and then wondering why they aren't getting anywhere. On the other hand, there are those rare, blessed souls who blissfully luxuriate in the lazy way. They simply see the job because they first have a vision of the ideal. They then get the job done (effortlessly), avoid any future misery, and enjoy the fruits of great success from the comfort of their divine hammocks.