In continuation of the weed metaphor from last time, remember that the best—and only—way to deal with weeds is to get them at the root. It does little good to simply pluck off the top, and not deal with the source of the problem. Taking care of what’s visible may help things look better in the short-term, but inevitably the weeds will continue to grow and spread because they were not dealt with properly.

The same thing can happen in our bodies and organizations and lives. In dealing with health issues, for instance, it’s possible to treat only the symptoms, and never get at the cause. And although this may leave us feeling better in the short-run, if the root issue is left unaddressed, it will continue to manifest itself in various ways.

Or in business we may be constantly trying to come up with one new idea after another to keep the operation afloat, not realizing that the entire paradigm or model we’re trying to make work is broken in the first place.

Or maybe we find ourselve never happy and never satisfied, always hankering after more. We fail to deal with the issues driving this desire for more, continuing to think that the next new thing will finally bring us fulfillment. But whenever we finally get what we want, the happiness is always short-lived, and soon we’re on to something else.

In dealing with a problem, don’t forget to go for the root. It may take more time, and may be more difficult. But failing to deal with the real issue only allows the problem to stick around—even if temporarily invisible—way longer than it should.