Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Solve Problems By Doing Less

For generations, kids learned how to ride a bike with the assistance of training wheels or a hunchbacked parent holding onto the steering wheel. But then came the running bike. A pedalless two-wheeler that teaches children how to stay upright.

A skill that kids don’t pick up when practicing with training wheels. In fact, training wheels make you too dependent on the extra support which leaves you with bad habits that you have to unlearn later. 

So what was long seen as a valuable teaching tool, was actually an obstacle to learning. It taught kids to focus on something irrelevant, pedaling, and by taking the pedals away, kids could focus on what mattered, balance.

If running bikes make training wheels obsolete, why did it take so long for us to find out?

Because the solution involved taking away rather than adding. And that feels unnatural to us.

For some reason, our instinct is to add. 

And that’s not only detrimental to how we teach our kids to ride a bike, but our problem solving skills in general. So many of us have an overcrowded schedule, a  loud and cluttered website, and a job with enough red tape to hold up the Golden Gate Bridge.

Things don’t need to be that complex and busy. So next time something’s not working, ask yourself, “What can I remove or stop doing to fix the problem?”

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach