Monday, 11 February 2013

Personal Development Problem Solving - How Good a Problem Solver Are You?



How many times have you found yourself facing a pile of seemingly insurmountable problems all requiring your attention before you could get on with anything really productive and profitable? It seems these time consuming issues raise their ugly heads when we least expect them, and right when forward progress is most pressing!

I confess to being caught up in this situation myself since the end of last year and into the beginning of this. In fact I had to pile on the discipline until I could see a faint glimmer of light at the end of the l-o-n-g tunnel! I'm sure you've been there too. I found this issue to be a golden opportunity to put into practice a large dollop of my own advice! In fact I wrote a post What it really means to take responsibility so a good recap of my own situation was called for!

I poured over some great advice from Brian Tracy, Earl Nightingale and Norman Vincent Peale who described successful people as being not too different from you and I when it comes to solving problems. It's just that they seem to have developed problem solving into a habit which moves them forward to achieve their goals whilst the rest of us delay, ask the wrong people for advice, or do nothing at all!

Worse still is the fact that most of us 'know' what we should be doing, we're just not doing it! 

Hence the opening quote above. 

The eye often sees problems as insurmountable, yet the heart knows the problem is a test; a test to see if we're up to the challenge. A-ha! Could it be that each challenge is therefore a test of our resolve and desire to reach the goals we've set for ourselves? 

Big goals equals big problems to be overcome. Why? Because there's never been a victory without a battle! The better you get, the better your life gets - that's the meaning of personal development. As you get better, so does everything else in your life. Stands to reason really doesn't it?

You see, each and every one of us has these wonderful abilities built in so to speak. Our heart is a measure of all things relating to our behaviour. How good you feel about yourself in any one moment is in direct proportion to how you act in relation to your commitments. Good attitude, good behaviour, good results! The more we act in a fashion which reflects our own best behaviour, the better we'll feel about ourselves and our project(s). 

You have a conscience because if you don't live by it, it hurts!

Personal development requires us to learn new skills to make progress in this world. Over time these new skills and abilities will improve our lot if we stick with it. And therein lies the rub. Improvement requires change which means doing new things which require effort, commitment, and discipline. Some represent insurmountable problems, and challengs to be overcome to others. Which are you?

That's probably why there is a smaller proportion of successful people in this world. It's only fair. The rewards go to those who solve their problems and stick with it until they reach their goals. Over time this becomes as much a habit as goal setting itself.

The upside is that as you get better at solving problems, the bigger, more valuable problems you get to solve! By the way there are no lessons in school on problem solving - we each have to find our own way because no-one is going to solve our problems for us (take note here). 

Learn to see problems for what they are; simply obstacles between you and what you really want. If you're not taking spirited action to solve your problems in any one area, it might be time to re-evaluate this particular goal in favour of another. 

Another useful post on this topic is what's in an attitude? which will help you if you're finding yourself challenged in any particular area, with a suggestion on how to get things under control. Try it! The upside is a life you've always wanted.