Love the Problem
Preparing for my one-day workshop with Matthew Sanford at the Yoga Journal Live conference was easy. All I needed was a mat, loose clothing, water and a notebook. It couldn’t be too strenuous because Matthew teaches yoga while seated in his wheelchair.
It was strenuous. Internally strenuous. Extreme presence, is like an extreme sport. It’s strenuous, generous, profound, transcendent and beautiful.
The focus of the class was instructing teachers on the ways to share yoga with Vets, PTSD patients and pretty much anyone suffering from a physical injury.
We heard a story from a Vet that spent 11 years in crushing back pain, depression, and self-neglect. He learned to love the problem of becoming grounded and open to living in his body differently. When he discovered he could inhabit his body in a way that brought him joy, pleasure and possibility through his yoga practice, all bets were off. He tells a new story. He lives differently. He leads now. He shares with other Wounded Warriors.
Matthew seems to read your mind as he observes how your body moves. Your body literally speaks on more than one topic and in many languages. Matthew intones his wisdom:
“Be and feel open and grounded.” “Support the spine, ease the mind.” “Relief is the source of all action…not effort.”
“Relief is the source of all action…not effort” echoed, reverberated … almost everyone reached for their notebook and jotted before the next down-dog asana. Why?
Effort. Make an effort. Great effort. We are accustomed to effort. What often illudes us is a sustained effort.
Effort feels like loving the solution and fighting the problem…in the shortest time possible. What about problems with permanency? Effort, as we know it, might not be enough. Relief becomes away of being.
Love the Problem.
Love the problem and choice changes, perspective changes, story evolves.
Matt spins and wheelies as he tosses out sparkling gems of insight, life wisdom, leadership wisdom in the same way kids toss water balloons.
There’s no fanfair or pretense. There’s joy and delight. To catch them as they fly calls for constant attention, being present, not knowing.
FIELD NOTES: An interview with Matthew Sanford
Love the Problem – Leadership and Business Innovation
In an issue of Harvard Business Review you’ll find a yogic “Love the Problem” approach to HR at Juniper. (You’ll want to work there or work with people who think like that!) It’s foundational wisdom for every aspect of business.
Favorite concepts/quotes from authors John Boudreau and Steven Rice:
“Falling in love with the problem rather than the solution makes it possible to avoid shiny-object syndrome, unconnected programs and random HR innovation. Within that overall mindset, we believe, the right approach consists of a four-part process.
1.Get the Big picture.
2.Spot the Valuable Insight.
3.Apply with Care.
4.Aim for Business Impact.”
The synergy between my yoga class with Matthew Sanford and this profound billboard of a quote stands out like a perfect “tree pose” – an asana for a startup, a growing business, an evolving effort:
“Measurement becomes a forward-looking learning and improvement process rather than a backward-looking declaration of triumph or failure. Alert to what’s working and what isn’t. Open to recalibration and more questions. You need the mindset, mindfulness – and the stomach for experimentation, revision and occasional missteps.”
Love the Problem – Virgin Startup Business Plan Startup Tools from VIRGIN
Virgin Startup Business Plan
How cool is that? A business startup template from the team at VIRGIN. And, why not get it from the top?
The classic question: “What problem does your startup idea solve?” may expand and include “What problem do you love, love so much that you won’t quit or give up?
BRIGHTERSTEP loves this problem: Far too often people tend to give up on, forget about or write off their best practices, big priorities, and bodacious dreams.
Love and solve that problem anyway you can. We created a web app solution for support. Like a yoga block, it adds to your reach in areas where you might not otherwise get to.