By Roger Crawford. This was originally published on Roger's blog.
Have you noticed how many times a day you open your briefcase or handbag to retrieve items? Most people hardly think about this task, but for me it is an actual challenge.
With limited dexterity of my hands and a total of only three fingers, the repeated opening and closing of my briefcase causes significant discomfort. In fact, it can be so painful that I often resort to other methods; let’s just say I have very tough teeth!
In a recent discussion with my wife, she suggested there might be an alternative to the traditional zippered case. Within days, she presented me with a surprise: a handsome new briefcase with magnetic closures rather than zippers! Until that time I had never considered another option. This has literally changed my daily life. No more sore hands or delivering a speech with missing front teeth!
All of us encounter challenges that need solutions. Developing the ability to navigate problems successfully and discover solutions first requires awareness, discipline, commitment, and an effective strategy. Here are some useful suggestions.
Solve a Problem Early
Problems most often start small and become much larger if you do not acknowledge them or take appropriate action. Here is a great analogy: Life will sometimes throw you a pebble. If that doesn’t get your attention, a small rock, and finally a boulder. In other words, ignoring small problems does not make them disappear. In fact, they will continue to grow until you are eventually forced to deal with them.
Ignoring a small health issue or financial difficulty can allow it to become a much larger problem, seemingly overnight. Successful people look to solve small problems before they get bigger.
Focus on Best Solutions
Simply worrying about a particular problem does not solve it. Worry creates unnecessary stress and can cause paralyzing anxiety. It can also erode your energy and waste valuable time. It is vitally important not to catastrophize our circumstances.
Your success in solving problems is determined by what you dwell on. Rather than dwelling on the problem, clearly define it, and then turn your attention toward possible solutions. The better clarity you have, the better the solutions you will find.
Don’t wait for the perfect solution; it may not exist. The perfect solution for my briefcase problem would have been my getting seven more fingers, while the best solution was simply a new briefcase.
One Plus One Equals Three
My good friend, author and speaker Brian Tracy, shared this principle of 1+1=3 with me many years ago. He explained that the talent, wisdom, and experience of two or more people working together on a solution will create powerful synergy.
In other words, the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I had dealt with blisters and bite marks for many years with my briefcase.
When I shared my frustration in just one discussion, the solution appeared. Whenever you are dealing with a problem you’ve never faced, seek out someone who has. Their experience can help you find the solution you’ve been looking for.
What are some challenges that you are currently facing? Is there a way you can approach the problem differently that might serve you better and perhaps offer a solution? I hope this article has given you some valuable options.
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