Today’s post contains a simple idea, but a massively valuable one too! It can help you solve problems or challenges more effectively and reduce your stress levels at the same time.
It’s all about focusing 99% of your time on the solution and very little time worrying about the actual problem itself.
Don’t focus on the problem
To solve a problem, you need to be in a resourceful state. This gives you your best chance to find not only an answer, but a great answer.
The thing is, when a problem comes along, especially a BIG problem, people tend to focus most of their time thinking about the various horrible things that might happen, as a result of the problem. This immediately places us in an unresourceful state. We worry. We panic. We become fearful. It’s hard to think clearly under that kind of dark cloud.
The bottom line: Once you have identified exactly what the problem is, it’s time to move on to the answer!
Focus on the answers
Focusing on answers always places our mind in a positive state. Rather then the cycle of doom and gloom that is created when we focus on problems, a cycle of positivity, creativity and clarity is created, when we focus on answers. Focusing on the answer puts us back in control and allows us to put our energy where it’s needed most – Finding a solution!
One of my readers was presented with a huge “challenge” recently, when her biggest customer pulled their account! She emailed me to explain how she used an idea from this blog post, to “turn it around”. The post is about the importance of using great questions, to focus your mind on creating great answers. Anyway, here’s what she said in her email to me (reused with her permission):
By taking your advice on problem solving, I noticed that the usual cycle of stress and worry didn’t happen. Previously, I would have literally worried myself sick, imagining all the consequences of losing this account and playing out all the worst case scenarios in my mind over and over again.
So this time I immediately focused on an answer instead. I grabbed a pen and a pad and started writing ideas down, first to see about rescuing this customer’s account and then, to see about replacing them with another account. That was 12 days ago and I have won my former customer back and gained another, even bigger account.
Thank you Jim!
Someone once told me that worrying was the lowest possible use of the human imagination, and I think he had a point. In my experience, most people who regard themselves as poor problem solvers, are simply GREAT problem solvers, who use their imagination and creativity to focus on the wrong things.