No matter which language you speak, we all share a common language called, ‘problemian’. It sounds like, “There’s a problems with... I have a major problem... You know what I think the problem is... The problem with you is...”! ‘Problem’ essentially means I am having difficulty (either mentally or physically) with something, someone or some situation, and I don’t know how to make things easier. How quickly we can overcome the problem and find the solution depends on how creative we can be and there are seven approaches to finding a solution:
- Rational: The rational approach is best used for those practical ‘on the surface’ issues and situations. It’s a useful approach when we believe there are problems around anything to do with arranging, organizing and co-coordinating. For example how to organize the chairs in a room, how to distribute the tickets fairly, how will guests be served, all require a reasoned, logical and common sense approach. Nothing deeper or more subtle than a rational strategy is usually required.
- Casual Analysis: Sometimes we don’t realize that we are only fixing the symptoms but not the cause of the problem. So some problems benefit from analysis prior to solution seeking. For example; I’m feeling stressed, why because there is a growing sense of fear, why because I think she might leave me. On further analysis I might find that the reason why she might leave me is that I always see myself in a negative light and I have low self-esteem. So the solution is to rebuild my self-esteem and thus keep her from leaving me.
- Intuition: Intuition is another word of our innate wisdom or our natural ‘knowingness’ of what is true. It’s something we all have at the heart of our consciousness. It’s useful for those difficult relationships and situations which have more subtle, unseen dimensions. Sometimes a doctor sees a patient and without examining the patient, the doctor intuitively feels that the patient is a lot sicker than she appears or the patient feels and could face a health catastrophe and directs patient to undergo some test for unexpected health issue. The test results show hidden health issue, proving intuition to be correct.
- Consult the Three Es - Experts, Experience and Extraordinary Thinking: The problem with the plumbing system requires ‘the expert’, the specialist, the trained professional! Our ‘experience’ however often contains the way we tackled something similar in the past and it always pays to consult the memory bank for previous problem solving experiences. ‘Extraordinary thinking’, on the other hand, is imagining what someone wiser, maybe even someone we know would do in a situation like we are facing at the moment.
- Envision and Live in the Solution: What do you do when the problem of a conflicted relationship arises? Take a moment to reflect on the state of the relationship. Then create a vision of the outcome you’d like to see where a harmonious connection and exchange is restored. This vision will empower you as to what we need to do to get there.
- Cultivate a Deeper Self Awareness: Seeing through the perceived problem, identifying its deepest origin, remaining focused with clarity until a creative solution is found require a state of consciousness that is curious and calm. It’s only when we restore our true self-awareness as peaceful and loving beings, that we can access our inner peace, from which comes our inner power. This is the foundation for our capacity to remain calm, stable and able to be creative when things don’t go as planned.
- Dissolving the Problem at Source: When we decide there’s a problem we make that decision within our own consciousness. It is simply a perception, an interpretation. That’s not to say that the situation on the ground out there doesn’t exist. A million starving people can be a BIG problem or simply a fact that invites us to respond to do what we can to alleviate the condition/situation. If we can stand back and see without emotion we may generate a greater clarity and the solution for the problem, if not, we will see starvation as a problem that cannot be solved.
Adapted from Mike George’s article “Do YOU Live in the Problem or the Solution?” © 2012