According to Keith Cunningham, one of the world’s foremost authorities on business mastery, the problems most of us are dealing with are not even really the problems. When Keith spoke at Genius Network®, he asked everyone in the room to think of one of their biggest problems.

So, let’s do the exercise together:

What’s one of YOUR biggest problems right now?

Maybe it’s a family problem. Maybe it’s a personal problem. Maybe it’s a business problem. Write it down or type it out.

Keith explains how everyone has a way they think something “is”. According to Keith, the problem most people have is they are not particularly honest about the reality of their situation. For example, we may sugarcoat things or tell ourselves something isn’t so bad. Yet, we also know the truth is what sets us free. As long as we are lying to ourselves or not telling the truth, we don’t have the opportunity to make a change.

At the same time, we also have a way things “ought” to be, or the way we would like it to be.
Most of us are experts on this. We have clarity on the way we would like the future to look. And when we are asked what the problem is, we describe the gap between what “is” and what “ought” to be. When we write out our biggest problems, we visualize the gap between where we are and what we want. In reality, that isn’t the problem. That’s a SYMPTOM…

In order to move the needle toward what you want, we need to get clarity on what is truly blocking our forward progress. As Keith puts it: “The gap between where you are and what you want is what you typically describe as the problem, when in reality this gap is NOT the problem. That gap is the symptom. […] What’s blocking your forward progress has nothing to do with where you are versus what you want. What’s blocking your forward progress is the obstacle that “is”. If you don’t have clarity on the problem that is, you will be tactical instead of strategic.”

For example, if someone is 10 pounds overweight, if they identify the problem as being 10 pounds overweight, what they will conclude is maybe they should buy exercise equipment, buy some health books, join a gym, or get a personal trainer. However, these are tactical responses to a tactical question.

“If we don’t have clarity on the problem that is, we build a machine for the problem that isn’t,” says Keith.

We identify the gap, call it the problem (when in reality it is a symptom), and we’re highly tactical in our response which sabotages our results.

Keith goes on to say: “The higher you want to go, the greater the requirement to have people around you who will tell you the truth. You need people around you who will see what you’re doing and who will give you advice, and then you gotta be willing to hear the advice. As long as we are arrogant or unwilling to listen, it does no good to ask.”

Rethink the problem you wrote down or typed out. Is it REALLY the problem? Is it the core root underlying problem blocking your forward progress… OR… is there something buried below it that you have to get busy and figure out?

by Joe Polish
Founder of Genius Network

Joe Polish

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