We all have challenges of varying degrees to navigate on a daily basis, but have you ever wondered about the one’s that seem to stick around? Why is it, for example, that some people just can’t seem to lose weight while others continually self-sabatoge relationships?
The answer to our ability to overcome challenges is often a misunderstanding of the best strategy to solve them. According to Harvard’s Ronald Heifetz, there are two types of challenges. There are technical challenges that, while can be extremely problematic and difficult to resolve, have known solutions. Subject matter experts, books, or even Google will have an answer to these kinds of challenge. Think of things like a leaking dish washer, termite infestation, or a broken arm.
There are also challenges that Heifetz calls adaptive challenges. These are challenges that cannot be solved without new learning. Macro examples of such challenges include the ethics of artificial intelligence and managing the borderless war on terrorism, for example.
We struggle when we try to solve adaptive challenges with technical means. Weight-loss, for example, can be a technical challenge. We know how to accomplish this though nutrition protocols and fitness practices. If prescribing a nutrition plan and a fitness regimen, for example, solves someone’s weight problem, then it’s a technical challenge. For many, however, this challenge isn’t going away for lack of information. It’s an adaptive challenge.
Those solving adaptive challenges will need to become different people to solve them. The mind must evolve through new learning to arrive in a place to do so. This evolution requires breaking into new ground of awareness. These areas can be referred to as your blind spots. Many folks who struggle with weight-loss, for example, have hidden assumptions that have them by the neck. Exposing these blind spots grow awareness and new learning required to solve this version of an adaptive challenge.
When you come up against a problem. Before you try to take action, ask yourself, “is this a technical challenge or an adaptive one?”
Find a 5RM Front Squat..
2x 5 Front Squats (~85% of 5RM)
20 Thrusters (135/95)
20 Pull Ups