Dealing with problems

You???ve got ideas you want to run with, relationships to explore and new opportunities to conquer. But how? We all have the same 24 hours in each day; yet,  some make more of it than others.
Well, I???d like to believe that it has more to do with a firm plan –  a strategy, if you will ??? that successful people put in place that gets them from where they are to where they want to be. 

I have so much that I want to accomplish and am time and resource poor ??? doesn???t everyone sometimes feel they could use an extra pair of hands? I tried running faster but that just gets you super exhausted. How much faster can you get there anyway ??? so what if you shaved off 23 seconds? At what cost? So far, I must say I have been thinking about the problem in every way imaginable. And there it stops. All the moaning and groaning has got to stop and now, I???ve come head to head with it. What???s it gonna be? So, here???s how I am going to tackle this.

Sit and think about it and make a plan.
The thing with just thinking about it is that its just mulling. You have to think about how you want to think about it, if that makes any sense. If you don???t have a plan for how you will think about a problem, you tend to just go all over the place. And if the problem is big enough, stressful enough and with enormous consequences, the impact of emotion along this little highway can just turn things up a notch or two.

Over the years, we???ve found a way of addressing our issues. Whether we need to have a coffee and sit and mull over it or go for a long drive, we all have our ways of dealing with our issues. The peculiar thing about this is that over time, we develop a habit of how we approach things. So while it???s easy to read and hear about approaches to problem solving and critical thinking, we all revert what we know best and what is familiar to us. What gets in the way is when the habits we???ve developed prevent us from reaching the solutions that can help us or when we fail to reach a level of consciousness about this in the first place.

I???ve always tended to focus on problems. By this I mean, I twist and turn a problem inside out, examine the intricacies of it and every facet it shows me. I???ve read the books, heard the good talks but I guess nothing sunk in. And then one day, it hit me finally. If you have a habit like I do of focusing so much on the problem (as opposed to how to solve it), you tend to get stressed, depressed and ridden with negativity. The reason for this is because you are mired in it. You???ve dwelled, and – here???s a really good word ??? soaked in the problem. 

You???ve got 35 different names for it. You can give a speech on how it???s affected you and you can say in more ways than one, why it should not be, in the first place. Yet, none of this, no matter how long it takes, gets you close to solving the problem. To do that, you need to leave the problem and take the emotion out of it. It is a different approach altogether because when you think of solutions, you have hope. When you think of the problem, you don???t. You see the consequences and the bad results.

But a problem, at the risk of being laughed at, is just opportunity inverted. Well, it certainly helps if you look at it that way. So, make that decision to choose to solve your problem. Because until you do, it doesn???t get solved. Sometimes, solutions do come your way but that???s by chance. And you can???t live your life like that, at the whim of the wind. Can you? You need to be in charge and take control of your life. So, own the problem, call it yours and make a plan to solve it. Take responsibility for it, that???s what it means.

…to be continued

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About rowena morais

Media Communications and Editorial Specialist. With my strong professional network of contacts, I help individuals and organisations, particularly those within Human Resource and Technology, strengthen their skill-base and brand through compelling writing, beautiful design, content marketing and publishing. Let's talk.

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