In life, we face many problems. Whether we call them issues, challenges or obstacles, they are, ultimately, problems. Solving such problems requires us to think in the most useful manner possible. It requires that we learn a system or strategy that will allow us to adequately solve any problem in the most effective way. In this post, I want to explore some key ideas that might help you to solve whatever problem you find yourself facing.
Firstly, understand what you are trying to achieve and what the problem is stopping you from achieving. The important element is to understand exactly what you want. Once you know this, you can be very clear over exactly how the problem is a problem. If you are short on money that only becomes a problem when you need money to buy something. This will teach you WHY the problem IS a problem.
Secondly, decide what emotion you are feeling as a result of this problem and what emotion you want to feel which would help you to solve this problem. For example, if you hate public speaking and your problem is that you are in front of an audience then the emotion is fear. The feeling you want instead is one of calmness and confidence. Sometimes it might be clarity or conviction. Whatever will be best for you to feel at that moment.
Thirdly, understand why the problem happened in the first place. This does not necessarily need to be known but it is useful to at least have some idea as to what made it occur. When you know what made it occur you can ensure that you take the necessary steps to stop it happening in the future. Future prevention should always be a future strategy when solving any problem.
Next, ask yourself how this problem can actually be a good thing. Explore how it could be the best thing to happen. Find out what it can teach you. How can it make you stronger, better and smarter? What are the lessons of the problem?
Fifth, understand what resources you have at your disposal and what you are in control of. What have you the means to do? Who can help you? What information or knowledge or skills do you need?
In terms of the actual strategy:
Identify anyone you know who has solved such a problem and learn what they did. Research the best practice when facing it. Go back and consider any problems you faced in the past which were similar and how you solved them.
Decide on a strategy and a deadline that work for you. Be as realistic as possible as to what it will take to solve this problem.
Decide on a number of back up strategies that you will use if your preferred strategy does not work.
Create a story about this problem and solution and decide on what it means for you and your life. The way you think about your problems in the past, present and future will have a huge influence over how effectively you live your life.
I hope you found these ideas and steps useful and that they will help you the next time you find yourself tackling a problem in your life. Let me know how you get on.
Image: Thanks to http://gratisography.com/