Category: Time Management
You may be thinking that I am going to say something along the lines of, "Don't think of them as problems, just think of them as opportunities." Or maybe you're reminded about something that would be said by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, who is considered the father of positive thinking. Well, actually what he said on the subject was, "Problems are a sign of life and if you don't have problems, you had better start to worry, because the only people that don't have problems are in the grave!"
But no. That isn't what this article is about.
It is a wonderful idea to re-frame your problems into opportunities and then make yourself feel more positive about them. But as Dr. Norman Vincent Peale said, it is actually very true that "problems" are signs of life.
This article will explain to you about how to actually, really solve your "problems." Let's start with a simple question then: Are you actually making any progress toward solving your "problems?"
You see, the reality is, most people don't really do particularly much about the various "problems" they face. They think about them, they ponder them, they worry about them, the "problems" are on their mind constantly. However, most of the time people do not do anything positive and constructive toward solving their problems. Observe your own life. Do you have something that you consider a "problem", but you are not actually doing much, if anything at all, about it?
So what is the solution to this dilemma?
It is first to envision just how you would like the situation to turn out. Then, simply, to think about what the first or next action step would be in order to move toward bringing about the desired result. Sounds incredibly simple, right? However, are you actually doing it in your life?
With complicated problems, ones obviously you have not solved yet, sometimes it can be hard to determine each action step that you'll need to take. The good news is, though, you do not need to plan the entire solution all at once. Instead, you just plan the next step and as you take action on it, plan out the step that follows. Often, the solution will reveal itself as you continue through this process, even if it seemed hidden before you started.
As an example, let's say you're working at a job you're not really happy with. You have a vision to be at a job that inspires you, however, you're not quite sure just what that is. You decide that the first step is to make a list of 15 or more jobs you previously thought of that interest you. After you've done that, you decide the next step is to spend an hour talking with two friends who already work in industries you're interested in. Then, you'll write this project down and review it on at least a weekly basis, ensuring you continue to take action steps toward the goal.
Or as another example, perhaps you are concerned about the health of your mother, since she is living by herself. You would like her to be in a living situation where she is regularly around more people. Your first step then, is to brainstorm out at least six possible solutions to this particular issue. You produce that list and then decide that the following step is to discuss the situation with your mother and get her input.
The main point of this article is that there may be certain areas where you may feel somewhat stuck in your life. However, are you actually taking action and doing something about any of the problems or are you just taking up time worrying about them? The moment you begin to take some action, often you will find that whatever worry you had about the problem starts to lessen. If you then continue to take action, sooner or later you will discover the solution.
So now following is the exact method for solving any problem you encounter in your life. If you follow this method explicitly, eventually you will find the solution to your problem.
Step 1: Identify the specific outcome you desire for the situation. The description of the outcome needs to be phrased in a positive manner; it should be what you DO want to have happen, not what you DON'T want to have happen. As an example, instead of saying, "I want to leave this terrible job," say, "I want to work at a job that I truly love and enjoy." The goal you make should also be specific and measurable. When the outcome occurs it will be obvious to someone who has read your goal, meaning you will:
Step 2: Write down the outcome that you want to occur.
Step 3: Next to the outcome, you then write down the very first step to take towards achieving it. Just remember, this does not have to be totally accurate. You may end up getting it wrong the first time you try, however even if it isn't correct, you're still taking some actual action towards the outcome.
Step 4: A reminder system. You are definitely going to need some way to help you remember to evaluate and review what has occurred. For example, you could write a note in your journal each week, although this only works if you then religiously review your diary! You simply cannot rely on your brain to remember to review. You MUST have a reminder system. Another system you can use is something like Outlook or Google Calendar that will automatically email you each week in order to remind you. If you are really motivated to solve the problem at hand, then review your journal not just weekly, but daily.
Step 5: The evaluation step. When you receive the reminder to review, look it over and evaluate what it is you have actually done.
Step 6: During the evaluation, you decide if you are going to continue doing the same action or come up with a new action to take. If you do decide to take a new action, you must then always write down and detail what it will be.
Step 7: Now, if during the evaluation you note that you didn't take any action, then this is what you should do: reduce the action step into multiple smaller components in order to make it easier. You need to break it down and find the very first really easy thing you can do.
For example, let's say your particular problem is that you are single but you wish to begin a relationship. The action step you decide on first is to go out on a date. You evaluate your progress after one week. You did not go on a date. So you then break the problem down in order to find an easier first action step. In this case, you could write down a list of 5 ideas about how you can find someone to go out on a date with you. Alternatively, you could sign up for an online dating web site.
It is important that as you go through your steps, you carefully consider the next appropriate action step that should be taken. By all means, do not give up. Keep thinking about it until you come up with an idea about just what you can do. And then if you just can't think of anything to do, that is when you should ask someone else to help you.
Additional bonus step:
Step 8: In order to properly figure out the best way to solve the problem at hand, it can really help to find someone who solved the same problem before. Case in point, let's say your goal is to get out of debt. That would be the time to find someone who has already been in a lot of debt and who can tell you how to get out of debt. You do need to make sure that the person you ask to get help from has in fact had the problem before and has successfully solved it. Another place you can get advice regarding most common topics such as this is on the internet or in books you can buy or get from your local library.
You will find out that different people have different perspectives and understanding. You will discover that others have succeeded in solving problems using various, multiple approaches. Now not all these approaches can succeed for you personally, however the more perspectives you discover, the more likely it is you will find the right one that works for you. Read every book and/or resource you can find about the problem that might help you. Then be sure to find a person you know that has solved the problem and who is willing to help you.
Really, you can use this system for ANY problem you come across in your life. You might consider listing every problem you can think of and then apply the described method to each of them.
If you decide this method is not working for you after following it exactly for more than 10 weeks, please contact me through this website and describe to me exactly what you did. I will then get back to you about what the next step is.
I will remind you about all the steps that you'll need to take in order to succeed with the outlined method. If you do not follow all the steps exactly, you cannot complain that the method did not work, because actually you are not really following the method.
Here it is again, in short form:
1. Determine the outcome that you are looking for.
2. Write the outcome in positive language, describing what you do want, NOT what you don't want.
3. Write down any action step you can take toward the outcome.
4. Find a system that will remind yourself to review your actions at least every week, but preferably every day.
5. During your review, decide if you will keep on with the same action, or if you don't, then write down a new action.
6. If for some reason you did not take the action, then reduce it to smaller parts to find a first action to make the step easier.
7. Continue taking however many action steps needed until the problem is solved.
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Article Source: How to Get Rid of All the Problems in Your Life