How to Solve Problems?
There is one thing in common for all of us, and that is the fact: we all face problems at some point.
The definition of a problem is a situation or an issue that is waiting for a solution.
I’m not sure if I read this definition in Martha’s Beck book: Finding your north star, or I just wrote this down as a note and conclusion while reading this book. Anyway, it’s a very proper description of the term problem, in my opinion.
A problem is nothing else but a situation waiting for a solution.
As soon as the solution shows up – the problem goes away.
How do we come up with a solution?
The traditional way most people choose is to jump right in the middle of the problem and use all of the energy and disposable resources to solve it. It’s our way to be responsible.
But very often, we end up exhausted, frustrated, and without a satisfying solution. And then we try again and again without considering that there may be tactics we can use about this.
Here are some suggestions on how to approach any problem in life.
First, you need to figure out how you feel regarding any problem. It’s going to be one of the negative emotions for sure, but which one?
Are you angry, confused, or anxious?
Are you scared, desperate, or sad?
Do you feel more than one emotion, like anger and sadness, at the same time?
Becoming aware of your emotions is a big part of finding the solution because now you can move to step two.
Second, investigate why you are feeling this way? Answer to the questions: Why am I angry, jealous, or irritable?
When you come up with an answer, ask yourself another why. Why do I feel that? It will uncover other layers.
There are many different situations when you can feel negative emotions. Still, you can always dig deeper and find out why you feel that way. Maybe you are irritable because you showed up 5 minutes later at work today. Why do you show up later? Because there was a terrible traffic jam. Why haven’t I left my house on time? Because I didn’t sleep well or went to bed late the other night.
Now it’s time for the third step.
Third, answer the question What needs to happen for me to become happy again? This is where taking responsibility for our own life and action kicks in.
Learning how to answer this question will be a game-changer in your success and wellbeing.
Let’s see: What needs to happen for me to become happy again?
Most people are answering this question like this:
*I want my boss to stop being such a dictator
*I want my family to support me and my ideas and stop sabotaging me
*I want my husband/child/sister … (or somebody else) to get healed from this terrible disease.
*I want my company to give me a raise because I am such an excellent worker.
*I want the government to do this or this
If you answer your “Why” like this, you are not moving towards the problem’s solution. You are staying in the victim mode. Your problems could not be solved if you just sit back and wait for all the outside circumstances to be fixed for you. That doesn’t happen – I tried, so believe me. 😊
Try these answers instead:
What needs to happen for me to become happy again?
*I want to work for a boss who is intelligent and has great leadership skills.
*I want to feel supported and surrounded by like-minded people.
*I want to learn how to handle difficult life challenges where I have no control of.
*I want to have more income.
*I want to learn how to increase my options in the current economic and political environment.
Four, answer the question What is the most effective way to get what I want?
Not just listing one simple possible solution, but all of the solutions you may think of.
For example, I want to have more income. How can I do that?
Answer: I can look for another job
I can consider if I have a talent I don’t use and get more education about that.
I can explore courses and certification
I can learn more about finances
I can learn how to develop a business from my hobbies
I can learn about success
I can… complete this list for yourself. It’s important to put here things you could do that scares you, embarrass you, or something that seems impossible. Put things that are completely out of your comfort zone on this list.
When you have complete lists like this for all of your problems, you are ready to create an action plan.
That’s right. After all this investigation and estimation of your life situation, there are some things you need to start doing.
One big note here: Get rid of the expectation that every problem has a quick fix.
There are no quick fixes for most problems in our life. For some of your problems, it may take you weeks or months to solve them. But also, all of those problems weren’t created in a couple of days either.
Another big note: The solution to all of your problems probably lies in the things you should do that are way out of your comfort zone.
This way of approaching problems works very much for me. This is how I learned to take responsibility for my own actions and choices. This is how I now have the experience that there is a solution for everything once I define the real problem.
If I were you, I would do this in writing. Writing these things down helps me focus and see what is really happening on a deeper level.
This way of approaching problems in life leads to personal growth.
If you want to experience learning about this in a group, join me in my group Coffee with Maya. In this video, you can find the details about this project. It’s a free Zoom group where we get together once or twice a month. I always have a topic prepared. We are doing writing exercises in a group and sharing resources like books, videos, etc.
You can join us by mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org