Quite a few years ago, I bought my son a fish. It was a black fish with bubbled out eyes and a fancy tail who was appropriately named Bubble-eye Guy.
Bubble-eye Guy happily swam around in his little tank until one day I noticed a spot or two on his back. After some searching for possible fish illnesses on the internet, I promoted myself to fish expert/veterinarian and diagnosed him with ick.
Not wanting my son’s fish to die, I rushed to the store to buy some kind of ick cure, bacterial drops for the water and a few other things to save the ailing fish.
I arrived at home.
- Changed the water.
- Applied the ick boo-boo cream.
- Added the bacterial drops to the new water.
- Hooked Bubble-eye Guy up to an IV drip
- and monitored him closely.
By the end of the day, he was swimmin’ with the fishes.
The dead ones.
What could have possibly gone wrong? I mean, I did everything under the sun to save this swimmy little guy and he died anyway.
What went wrong was that I did everything under the sun.
I should have changed just one thing, looked for a difference, tried one more thing, looked for a difference and so on.
Or consulted a real fish vet…
Instead, I threw everything in but the kitchen sink because I panicked and shocked the poor fella (who would have died anyway) sending him to a watery grave a few days early.
The point, you ask?
The point is I learned something that day. I learned that when you have a problem, no matter what it is, don’t panic and throw the works at it. Try changing one thing, just one, and see how it works.
Like it? Great.
Need a different result? Try one more change and see if you get what you’re looking for.
Repeat, as needed.
Change everything at once and you may find yourself with a dead fish. Change a little at a time and you may give that little fishy a few more swimming days.
How do you approach a problem? Do you throw everything at it or do you change things little by little?