Call me late to the party, but it recently occurred to me that we spend most of our lives focused on problems and precious little time dedicated to solutions.
Listen to anyone, including yourself, talk about problems. After a time, you can recite the problem and all its facets from memory because you’ve heard it so many times.
Then notice how much time you’ve given to solutions – precious little.
I think there is a good reason for this imbalance being a fact of life – lack of flexibility.
We only see one solution and that solution is usually deemed too big a mountain to climb or simply out of our reach.
What is the cure for inflexibility? Options.
Before we can select a solution to work towards, we have to explore options.
The first step in exploring options is to stop reciting the problem.
Watch anyone practicing a piece of music on the piano. They may play it for 20 seconds and make a mistake. They go back to the beginning and start over and make the same mistake 20 seconds in. They go back to the beginning again and repeat this ritual countless times.
What would happen if they backed up only a few seconds and picked up their playing from there? They know the beginning of the piece by heart, so going back over what they know doesn’t bring them any closer to a solution. You know your problem intimately. It’s time to get to the hand holding stage with a solution. That takes options.
Develop the practice of asking, “What are my options?”
That question, alone, will pull you out of the tailspin of describing your problem yet again. “What are my options?” gets you focused on two things:
1. That options are available.
2. That options lead to a solution.
Without options, we are left with only our problem.
Are you looking for the next person to tell your problem to or are you looking for a solution? One strategy leads you to a familiar place – Nowhere; the other opens the door to “Somewhere.”
Arriving at a solution becomes much easier when we explore our options.
All the best,
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