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How to Solve a Problem: 6 Quick and Powerful Tips


Image by nattu (license).

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”

Albert Ellis

“Problems are to the mind what exercise is to the muscles, they toughen and make strong.”
Norman Vincent Peale

“Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.”
Richard Bach

Are you having a problem in your life right now?

If so, maybe these six quick tips can help you to solve it a little bit easier.

1. First, ask yourself: is there really a problem here?

Often we create problems in our own heads – as I mentioned a bit about a few days ago in Things May Be Simpler Than You Think – that aren’t really out there in reality. So relax a bit. And think about if this is really a big problem.

Is it something that will matter in 5 years? Or even in 5 weeks? Life becomes so less stressful when you stop making mountain out of molehills (or just out of thin air).

2. Accept it.

When you accept that the problem already exists and stop resisting then you also stop putting more energy into the problem and “feeding it”.

Now it just exists (well, more or less, you might still feel a bit down about it). You can use the energy you previously fed the problem with – the energy that probably made the problem look bigger than it was – to find creative solutions to the challenge.

3. Ask for help.

You can ask people for advice on what to do and what they did in similar situations. But you can also ask for more practical help. You don’t have to solve every problem on your own and sometimes it feels better to have someone by your side, even if it is just for emotional support.

If you just ask you may find that people will often be willing to help you out.

4. Use 80 percent of your time to find solutions.

And only 20 percent to complain, worry and whine. It might not always be easy but focusing your energy, time and thoughts in this way is much more beneficial for you and others than doing the opposite.

5. Break the problem down into smaller pieces.

Solving a problem can sometimes seem overwhelming and impossible. To decrease anxiety and think more clearly break the problem down. Identify the different parts it consists of. Then figure out one practical solution you can take for each of those parts. Use those solutions.

They may not solve the whole problem immediately. But those solutions can get you started and might solve a few pieces of the it.

6. Find the opportunity and/or lesson within the problem.

I have found that there is almost always a positive side to a problem. Perhaps it alerts us of a great way to improve our business or relationships. Or teaches us how our lives perhaps aren’t as bad as we thought.

Finding this more positive part of the problem reduces its negative emotional impact. You may even start to see the situation as a great opportunity for you.

When you are faced with a problem ask yourself:

What is the good thing about this?
What can I learn from this?
What hidden opportunity can I find within this problem?

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • River July 28, 2009, 8:07 am

    Hi.. Henrik, What a great post!! I like #5 n #6. It helps to change my view of my problem. Thanks!

  • Rohit Prakash August 5, 2009, 8:59 am

    Henrik,

    Nice post. Most of the points above are applicable often. I am in a situation where I am unable to find either a solution or an alternative. Some problems are like that. As I wrote in one of the posts of my blog, the cause of the present problem is a mistake that I did few months back. A mistake of surrendering my choices to others.

    Your entire blog is very informative except the advertisement of those fat ladies appearing on the left column. I request you to remove such ads. Just a request and nothing more.

  • Shani from Pop Prayers August 7, 2009, 1:18 am

    This is great. Spread the positivity. More people need to hear this. Thank You. Continue to spread the word for our nation with positive words at PopPrayers.com

  • Mariadoss July 9, 2010, 7:14 am

    Hi
    it is very nice . i like this word very much..
    What is the good thing about this?
    What can I learn from this?
    What hidden opportunity can I find within this problem?

  • Purushyottam Ghosh July 9, 2010, 6:22 pm

    I have soo many problems in my life that you can as well call me the “problem guy” ! :D Thanks for the informative article. Hopefully I can get rid of a few of these pesky problems with the help of your tips ;)

  • purnima July 22, 2010, 5:58 pm

    i purnima brought to banglore . i in a problem, who to solve it i do not know?
    before going to problem, i heard that banglore is a evergreen city but i think so it is surely not so because i found all over area of urine smell. it is very difficult to face to problem because as you know due to pollution very disease can occur but i am person face around the area and in also in our water. we are very difficult to face this situation day by day because we are using for our daily purposes .
    please kindly help us to solve this problem as soon as possible. please please please