I recently got my 2002 Honda Odyssey back from the mechanic, there was a problem with the fan in the heating/air system and a part needed to be replaced. I was worried when I first took it in; the car has 328,000 miles on it and I feared the problem might not be repairable. But it was. I got the car back and it works fine. My hope is soon to buy a new car and give this one to my son (or someone else who needs it). The resale value is very low and I can give it to someone who can still use it for local travel. Many have told me that I am foolish for keeping my cars for so long, but for over 40 years this is a strategy that has worked for me. I see no reason to change my approach now...
The first, and perhaps most basic principle of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, is: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It means that as SFBT therapists we are not looking for and trying to solve every problem in our client's life. In fact, if what our client is doing is working for (and bringing satisfaction to) them, then we don't mess with it.
Over the years people have told me that there are better strategies for live-long car management: Buy a new car and sell it after three years (before it has major problems and looses resale value). Buy a 1 year old car (under 20,000 miles) and save money on the new car sticker price. Lease a car and renew the lease every two years. The advice I've received goes on and on. But the truth is, what I'm doing has worked well for me. Buying a new car, doing the scheduled maintenance, taking care of the car and repairing things quickly; this approach has enabled me to keep most of my cars into the 300K millage range and then give them away (running well) to a family member or someone in need. I'll admit, at times the other approaches sound good and I'm sure they work well for others. But my approach to car management has worked well for me for over 45 years and I see no need to change it now.
If something in your life is broken (your frame of mind, personal health, important relationships) then by all means seek a solution that will move you towards your Preferred Future. But if the way you are living your life is basically working for you (and for those you love) then I see no reason for you to analyze yourself, your situation, or your relationships. Simply put: If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix it. Rather, if what you are doing is working, then rejoice in the fact that your attitude and approach to life have taken you "many miles down the road!"
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.