There are many times in our lives when we optimistically look for clear & impactful solutions to our challenges & problems—or search for the one thing that will make our dreams come true.
Curious to know where the origin of the descriptor “silver bullet” came from, I went to the web to learn more. In history, silver was considered to have magical powers when incorporated into weapons. Some thought silver could kill werewolves and evil supernatural things.
When looking for the meaning of the phrase “silver bullet”, The Phrase Finder (found on the web) says that its meaning is “A direct and effortless solution to a problem”. It goes on to say “It refers to an action which cuts through complexity and provides an immediate solution to a problem. The allusion is to a miraculous fix, otherwise portrayed as ‘waving a magic wand’.”
Reflecting on this, I could only say “Wow” for there have been numerous times in my life where I have searched for ways to overcome an issue or want to push something forward. Finding a new “shiny object” and attaching to it a belief that THIS is what I have been looking for. THIS will end my frustration and struggle. THIS will get me to where I want or need to go.
Sadly, I never found this to be true. Yet even today, I cling to the hope of finding a silver bullet to help me maintain a healthy weight. Something difficult for me to do for most of my life (after recently losing significant weight and then gaining it back). Believing in silver bullets, only reaffirms that we are human. No matter how much we understand the truth about them.
It’s human nature to want to find the easiest path. Searching for “silver bullets” creates stories in our minds making us believe we are actively working on THE solution. The false promise of a silver bullet is simply hiding the reality that we cannot avoid the difficult work needed towards a better outcome. No matter if it’s weight loss, challenge, obstacle, or problem we are facing.
What our futile search for “silver bullets” hides from us is the need for daily consistency, immersion, effort, and discipline to take steps (not a step) toward a better tomorrow.
The endpoints we seek are illusory for they are neither guaranteed nor permanent.
(This is hard for us to internalize.)
Making the next day after we make progress towards one, a more important signal to continue with another step. Protecting what we have achieved while encouraging us to go further.