Problem Solving

Are you a good problem solver? Does it depend on the problem or set of problems that you face?

Maybe you’re good at puzzles or crosswords but feel challenged by issues you face in life. Or maybe you’re fairly skilled at dealing with difficult people but not financial or medical situations.

One of the obstacles I’ve encountered while trying to solve problems is that I hit a ‘wall’. I seem to be making great progress and then something comes up and stops me in my tracks. I try to figure out what went wrong and am forced to restart the process over again.

The funny thing is I get to the same point and hit the same ‘wall’. I’ve explored some options and thought through some potential challenges but haven’t been able to reach any solid conclusions.

And the whole process can become even more difficult if I’m interrupted, which increases my inability to make any progress.

Time for a break.

I sit back and wonder about this whole thing. Don’t I want to arrive at a conclusion? I think I do, but perhaps there’s some reason or reasons I don’t.  Maybe I’m afraid of the unknown. Maybe I’m afraid of failure. Maybe I’m even afraid of success. Or could it be I don’t think there is an answer and that’s why I keep hitting the same wall?

I’d like to float an idea for your consideration.

Often it feels as though we get bogged down with problems because we feel we have to create their solutions from scratch.

What if this is not true. What if, what IS true, is that every solution to every problem ALREADY exists? If we accepted this, then problem solving would merely be a matter of claiming the solution, not creating it.

But you say, how can I claim a solution I cannot see?

A very good question indeed.

So, here’s a three-step process I’d like to propose.

Step One is to open your mind and conceive that the solution to your problem already exists, despite it not being immediately obvious.

Step Two is to believe you have the power to find the answer, either by yourself or with the help of others.

Step Three is to take action, to move beyond the wall by releasing any attachment you have to the idea that an answer does not exist. Let that go and instead, embrace the idea that an answer not only DOES exist but that you are capable of finding it and claiming it.

Here’s a quick case in point. Imagine you’re on an explorer ship leaving Europe and sailing eastward across the ocean, headed to the ‘New World’, which no one knows about yet. You’ve made preparations (conceived of the New World’s existence, stretched into beliefs that it must be there) and are now taking action, sailing with the wind. Day after day you continue and after several months, land ho, you arrive!

I think to myself, what if those sailors believed as others did, that they would sail off the edge of the world? Talk about a problem solving ‘wall’ (or rather no wall, since they’ve already fallen off the edge).

Somehow, they found a way to trust they would be successful. After they conceived and believed, they took action.

In the same manner, I’m suggesting each of us can discover (and claim) answers for any and all problem(s) we encounter. I’m not suggesting that every answer will come immediately, certainly not. But what I am suggesting is that our attitudes and beliefs play a vital role in all of our life’s successes.

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