The quick fix

Part of a continuing series related to ideas in my book, “Sustainable You/8 First Steps to Lasting Change in Business and in Life.”

We venerate the quick fix. Don't have the time, don’t have the money, don’t have the willingness to honestly examine a problem and invest in a real solution.

(How do you identify a “real” solution? Hint: It solves. When it stops solving, it’s not a solution any more, and maybe never was.)

But I’d like to ask you: Please name — really for yourself, but in the comments section as well if you like — the last quick fix that worked in the long term. Was it supposed to?

I pursued only quick fixes for well more than a decade. Foremost among them were my diets, which are the platinum example. I wasn’t willing to address what created and repeatedly returned my obesity, which, for me, was immaturity and other emotional issues wrought by the mildish traumas of growing up.

But I was willing to forego most fruits and vegetables, bread, all alcohol, and much more for months on end because Dr. Atkins told me to. While I was losing the weight — about 130 pounds, on separate occasions — it seemed a solution, but today, I can assure you it was not. Not only were the victories Pyrrhic, but the doctor’s enduring legacy was binge-eating. (“Have two steaks! Have three! As long as you have none of the bad things.”)

I haven’t dieted for a quarter century, but I have been following a food plan. Under the guidance of my nutritionist, the plan has changed many times over 15 years, but I’ve never regarded the need for a plan as temporary.

I wish I could say I’m cured of the quick fix, but no. I’ve purchased more than a few products — like those Bose-compatible headphone cords with microphone from Chengdu that had questionable customer comments — whose outcome I should have seen.

When considering actions or changes for yourself, please consider the suggestion that guarding against the quick fix is one way to get where you want to go. I’ll keep trying, too.

Author and wellness innovator Michael Prager helps smart companies
make investments in employee wellbeing that pay off in corporate success.
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