THE BLOG

Pomegranates: How to Deal With Overwhelming Situations

19/06/2014 15:03 BST | Updated 19/08/2014 10:59 BST

A good friend of mine often asks me to retell this story as he says it has helped develop the way he handles situations. I therefore have included it below, but before I start I should explain this friend is an INTJ, also known as a strategist or more commonly a fixer.

To be a good fixer you have to think clinically. Emotions can be messy. Medics have it easy, they can tuck those pesky feelings neatly away and step into a clean sterile room where the procedure is simple. Cut, suture, and close. If you are lucky you haven't accidentally left a towel in there and the problem is fixed.

But sometimes you're faced with a problem that isn't just medical but one that involves emotions, like a fresh cut that rips its stitches wide open - that's when I believe the tale of pomegranates comes into effect.

Whatever your type the following information is invaluable to a balanced life, I hope you enjoy the tale and pass it on.

A wise man once told me a story he read in a book involving a junior doctor and his mentor. It originates from advice passed down through the generations, unfortunately proper attribution cannot be given as I was not told the name of the book, but I thank the originator of this tale.

So, one fine morning...

The junior doc peered into the waiting room and called his first patient of the day. It was an easy case as his mentor had already told him the cure was pomegranates. On examination the junior doc was relieved that there were no hidden traps. He confidently told his patient that he had a liver infection and that the cure was a simple dose of pomegranates. To his dismay, the patient yelled, told him he was incompetent and stormed out of the surgery, leaving a dumbfounded student questioning his mentor.

As luck would have it, there was another patient in the surgery, that too with the exact same infliction so the mentor took the opportunity to teach how it should be done. He called the patient into his office, carried out the exact same tests then calmly sat back and thought quietly. After a few minutes he hesitated then said "you need something, red, fleshy"...he paused momentarily "hmmmmm something high in anti-oxidants and a good water content" he paused again then blurted out "pomegranates, you need pomegranates" as if he had just solved the mystery of the Turin shroud. The patient got up, hugged the doctor, thanked him and walked out of the office with a spring in his step.

The junior doc was dismayed as he had given the exact same remedy until his mentor explained that what both patients needed was pomegranates and TIME!

In this modern world what so many of us forget is that the human psyche needs time to digest and reacclimatise to information. Sometimes what we don't do is every bit as powerful as that which we do do.Taking time out to remember the tale of the pomegranate can help shift your focus towards a more positive outcome.

I think of this story often when advising my clients. In this modern day world we are so rarely given time to think, breathe, cope, strategise, improve, figure out, etc... An ENTJ like myself and an INTJ, the person who requested I publish an article on this topic often need to be reminded of pomegranates. Maybe you do too?

Many other types especially go getters need to be reminded to slow down and that fixing situations although useful sometimes need a dash of TIME. So, if someone in your life needs a situational awareness check, send them this article and then yell "pomegranates", you will be amazed at how useful it is. Even more useful, tell yourself "pomegranates" too, because in those moments where we all push too hard, taking a step back accompanied by a deep breathe often allows the fog to clear and provides us with the courage to move forward.

If you'd like to connect with Sloan directly you can do so via her website or via email at huffpost@sloansw.com.