Sunday, March 31, 2013

No Problems - Just Solutions Not Yet Found!

She called me her little problem solver, but I said to her, "There are no problems, just solutions we have not yet found".
This situation is very typical when most people come across difficult situations in their lives. They immediately refer to it as a "problem." Life in general is difficult and we are often faced with challenges that we either have no experience in dealing with or have trouble coming to terms with. So, why do we immediately want to call everything difficult in life a problem?
An optimist would say that there are no problems, just solutions not yet found.
Most people that refer to difficult situations as problems have probably not thought about the solutions to their problems. They are in a panicked state (like my friend was) and their first reaction is to think negatively about it. I will give you an example. Imagine you are walking along a footpath and you come across a brick wall. What are your thoughts?
If you are like most people you will see this as the end of the journey. However, if, like me, you think in terms of what the solution may be then you will see that you can do one of many things.
Now I'm not saying any of these solutions are easy and it all depends on the tools and facilities you have available to you at the time. Each one (including turning back) requires additional effort - but then no one said life was easy, did they? However, by expending that little bit more effort you achieve your goal.

People often think this way because that is how they are brought up to think. How often do adults teach children about critical thinking and coming up with solutions to difficult tasks in their lives? Actually how many adults themselves are able to practice critical thinking?
Not many and not very often.
There is an old adage, "Positive things happen to positive people."
The human mind can do wonders if it is trained to think and respond a certain way towards situations. As Henry Ford once said (I think it was he) "Whether you believe you can, or you believe you can't, you're right!"
If you have been raised to think negatively about everything in life, then you will see everything that gives you tension or stress as a problem. For example, a person that gets a flat tyre while driving to work will commonly respond in anger and curse the world for giving them this problem.
Why react like this?
The solution to fixing a flat tyre is simple - but requires a little bit of effort and delay in time to resolve it. Just get your jack and spare tyre from the trunk, then proceed to changing the tyre. Sure it may give you a delay in getting to work and the inconvenience of having to change the tyre, but you have solved the problem, so it no longer exists as such. So if you just focus on the solution, then the problem ceases to exist.
Keep On Rocking!

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