I made a numb-brain mistake the other day.  We were staying at our daughter and son in-love’s   while she was in the hospital birthing our twin grandbabies. I wanted to vacuum their floors before she brought the babies home from the hospital. The filter/dirt container on the sweeper was nearly full so I took it outside to empty it. The interior garage door automatically locked behind me. I patted my jean pockets and felt only some coins.

KeyInPocketI was in a dilemma. My cell phone was inside the house. My car was in the driveway and locked. The car keys were inside the house. All the doors and windows of their house were locked. The hospital was several miles away–definitely too far to walk. I didn’t know of any hidden keys and I had no phone to call my son in-law or daughter to ask if there were any secret ways to get back into the house.

I was contemplating solutions. I walked over to a neighbor’s house in the cul-de-sac that had a car in the driveway. She answered the door. I explained. She gave me her cell phone to use and I called my wife. I waited. My wife delivered a set of keys from the hospital and let me back inside.

I decided I better find the house key and put it in my pocket so this foolishness wasn’t repeated. I looked in all the places I might have left it. It was missing. I checked my pockets – this time I actually put my hand inside. Behold!!! The missing house key was in my pocket. Yes, it was there the entire time.

Sometimes there are other situations in life that are similar. We have the solution, the answer, the key—right in our pocket the whole time. We just don’t use it for one or more of the following reasons:

We fail to thoroughly assess all our options. This is what I did. I wasn’t thorough. I never actually put my hand in my pocket to find the key among all the loose change in my pocket. I missed the most obvious option available to me.

We panic and get tunnel vision. Some times we get into a predicament and then we loose our peripheral vision. We only focus on the quandary we are in. We don’t look at the 360 picture. We overlook the options that might be available to us. This is why the counsel of other wise people is very important at times like this.

We get paralysis by analysis. Some of us are more prone to this than others are. We get in a tough spot and then spend so much energy trying to analyze all the options to get out of the difficulty that we are immobilized.  I could have sat waiting for someone to come to my rescue but I decided to go ring a neighbor’s doorbell.

What area of your life are you stuck, stymied, at an impasse? Have you assessed all your options? Are you reacting too quickly or overreacting? Are you so obsessed with analyzing all the possibilities that you are experiencing paralysis? And by the way, have you thoroughly checked your pockets?


QUESTION: What have you found to be helpful in resolving a dilemma? Please share in the comment section below.


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