I do a lot of reading. Daily, I read a chapter of a fiction book to escape and see what other writers are doing.
I also read a chapter in a nonfiction book every day.
Nonfiction, for me, tends to be something along the lines of self-help and self-improvement. Books on mindfulness, mental health, spirituality, business, and combinations of all of the above. You might be able to see this reflected in what I write about.
I read these things to expand my knowledge base and improve my mind. There is ALWAYS something new to be learned. Hell, that’s one of the best things about life. Something new can always be found, experienced, and learned.
Because I choose from such a wide swath of sources, the information I gain tends to take multiple directions. Mindfulness, spiritual notions, consciousness, marketing, empowerment, power, wealth, human nature, and combinations of all of these.
Part of what makes defining my niche in the nonfiction world is that I don’t entirely know what to call what I share with you. Self-help? Self-improvement? Self-guidance? Maybe that’s a marketing issue.
The thing is, I sometimes wonder if what I am reading is for my overall self-improvement and knowledge expansion — or if I am seeking the quick fix I frequently rail against.
Why does that matter? Because the quick fix is never a real solution.
Real solutions take time and effort
One of the reasons Trump appeals to the people he does is his vision of the nation. He appeals to those who have been most impacted by globalization, businesses taking their manufacturing offshore, and a belief that the “way it has always been done” is going to be eradicated.
Trump’s vision offers a quick fix to “make America great again” that has next to no basis in reality. It’s merely an idea with zero backing — as evidenced by his 4 years of making America not great at all.
Most of the problems Trump and his party offer to fix, they themselves caused. But they are VERY good at convincing the masses that they are for them and they are their saviors.
Why? Because they dangle a quick fix idea to the people who feel aggrieved. They play on their fears of loss of sovereignty and identity. No real solutions are ever offered — just platitudes and the promise of a quick fix.
If a quick fix works at all it’s a bandage on a wound. Often, it’s not even that simple — since the wound itself tends to be a sucking a chest wound no Band-aid will hold together.
Real solutions require time and effort. A problem that developed over years generally can’t be repaired in minutes. Faster than it took to create, perhaps, but not instantaneous.
This is particularly challenging when the solution involves learning something new. Especially when you have no choice because what you had before (or thought you had) is gone (or never truly existed — I’m looking at you white supremacists).
Real solutions require work. Hence, a quick fix often addresses a symptom — but not the underlying disease.
Is it broken?
One of the most fascinating aspects of quick fixes is the state of what you are repairing. Is it broken? Because often, I suspect that it’s not.
America was already pretty great before Trump. But he presented this idea that the nation was broken and only he could fix it. After four years, he’s created exactly what he implied he’d fix — a broken nation. But I digress.
A lot of quick fixes go after something is not truly broken. Damaged, maybe, but not broken.
Let’s take weight loss as an excellent example. The narrative is that if you are fat you are broken. Because you are broken you need to fix it right now. Stop eating carbs. Triple how much you exercise. Only drink these high-chemical protein shakes. It might be insulin resistance — so try this plan.
All of these suggest that you can lose vast amounts of weight quickly. And maybe you can. However, since they don’t address the underlying issues, they generally don’t last.
What underlying issues? Emotional eating, stress-eating, metabolism problems, combinations of physical and emotional matters. All of these are a contributing factor to being overweight.
I’m overweight. Presently, I weigh about 80lbs more than a man of my height and general build should. This has been due to emotional eating, my primary source of exercise being untenable thanks to COVID-19, and knowingly not taking actions to address this.
Which leads to an important point. Being fat does NOT mean you’re broken. Obesity is a concern — but there is no One True Size for people. I know men and women who look healthier with a little extra weight on them.
And just because I am overweight doesn’t mean I’m inactive and unable to do things.
Damaged? Maybe. Broken? I don’t really think so.
A quick fix may not be thorough
As I wrote earlier in this article, quick fixes tend to address symptoms, not the underlying matters.
Take diets again as an example. They fix a single issue on the surface but ignore the underlying matters. Hence why most people — after an extreme diet — gain back all they lost and more.
The quick fix is the equivalent of using duct tape to hold a front bumper on your car. The bumper is still attached — but a good jostling and some weather extremes will make the tape fail. If you lose the front bumper at 80mph on the highway it might do a lot more damage along the way.
Quick fixes tend not to last. They can even cause new and larger issues along the way, such as the above example.
The energy, time, and effort that goes into a lasting fix are often overwhelming. There are numerous steps, considerations, and more that go into a real, true repair.
A real fix doesn’t address just the surface problem. It goes after the underlying issue. But that is not going to be quick.
Underlying issues — mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual — took a long time to be created. It is for this reason that they will take some time to repair or replace.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Underlying issues were not, either. While a fix or replacement is likely to take less time than the cause of the problem — it will still require more time than a quick fix offers.
Be mindful of the quick fix
Whatever it is you are working on for your life — and whatever process you are taking to do that — be mindful if you are attacking the underlying issue or a symptom. Be mindful of the quick fix.
This may require a bunch of effort and work to recognize and determine. But once you do, you open yourself to more understanding — not only of the issue you are working on — but of yourself.
I have goals for who I desire to be. That’s why I read what I do. It’s also why I share my process. But to do that, I need to confirm if the things I am focused on are symptoms or the underlying matter.
Mindfulness is a key means to that end. Being aware and conscious of thoughts, feelings, actions, and intentions is the starting point. From there, you can delve into your mindset/headspace/psyche and make necessary adjustments accordingly.
You are worthy and deserving of being who you desire to be. There is no need for you to be anyone other than yourself to achieve anything. Being mindful of the quick fix opens you to more thorough and complete control when it comes to your life and perception of reality.
Are you fixing an issue or just a symptom of it?
Thank you for reading. I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, and similar life lessons.
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