Every Solution needs a problem. Or is it the other way around?

Or is it the other way around? Under normal circumstances, yes. But when has that prevented us from  enjoying this roller coaster called life ? As I get older, I’m enjoying being fully present for experiences which I used to dismiss as ordinary. Even mundane at times.

Take, for example, the dreaded sound of an ambulance wheezing through the streets of Addis. I’m certain there have been instances of utter frustration when other drivers simply refuse to take their right side when you are fully complying with the convention of letting the ambulance  pass through the crowded streets of Adu Genet.  Solution?! There are now ambulances who name and shame those stubborn drivers. Yes, that’s right. They use the Public Address system of the ambulance to actually read the license plate number of the culprit and ask him/her to please give way. I recently saw this in action on Bole road… cue sirens followed by “ Car License Plate No. Code 35 – xxxxx, Toyota, please give way to the ambulance behind you, I repeat….”… all of a sudden the poor driver is paying attention; 5 seconds later, I see him giving way! Small wins, forever!

Did you know that we – as humankind – put a man on the moon before we put those little wheels on our suitcases. That blew my mind. How did we not think about these features which make life so simple?! ALL. THIS. TIME. Now ,  not only is boarding a plane with half the house packed in a big suitcase easier, we are using the wheels from school bags to laptop carriers, thanks to increased awareness about the perils of carrying  and dragging more than our body weight on a daily basis.

Morning mayhem is something which is all too familiar to parents. Whether you are running a multi- million dollar company  or running to your Zumba class after dropping off little tyke at school,  your priority is to ensure that a well fed, respectably clean and dressed kid is happily cooperating with you in getting to your next destination. Easier said than done, on most weekday mornings, though. My Achill’s heels   come in the form of locating matching socks every Monday morning. An enlightened mother once told me that she bought 15 pairs of identical socks to avoid having to play matchmaker each and every morning. What a great relief! I’ve never looked back.

While we are discussing weekday morning hassles, how about posting the week’s menu plan in the kitchen to tame picky eaters? Or letting prince/ss   pick out his/her outfit for the entire week on the  Sunday afternoon  of the preceding week in a  brand new,  made up game called” Let’s dress up for the week”? Two birds with one stone. Fill a boring afternoon with an activity and reduce the stress of putting together an outfit for the rest of the week. Brilliant, no?

Though all the above examples make life easy, nothing gets my motors running than adopting the same mindset for the work environment. Sadly, we don’t see much creativity here. Why?  My reasons range from “I’m not creative enough”, “If there was a need to change the way we do things, someone would have done it long ago” to “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” … all unacceptable …all excuses… I know, I know….

so, it’s time that I ask “why?” and “why not” more often, critically think about ways of making processes easier, change what is not working and what is actually working to make it even better. Wish me luck, Good knows I need it.

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