A 7-Step Method to Resolve Life’s Major Problems

How to Organize Your Efforts When Dealing With the Big Stuff

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Problems are an integral part of life. Solving them is a necessary part of living.

For centuries, it’s been a cultural imperative to structure our lives in such a way that we reduce the number of problems we must handle. The fewer problems we have, the better.

At least that’s the premise.

In reality, the majority of what we generically call “problems” stem from broken garbage disposals, dishwashers, leaking septic tanks, dead car batteries, and a host of other daily surprises that require our immediate attention. That doesn’t make them any less real, but it does give us a glimpse into the constant, never-ending nature of the beast.

But what about the bigger issues — the real, unexpected, punch-in-the-gut problems that disrupt our “normal” and push our blood pressure to DEFCON 1? I’m talking about losing a job, going through a divorce, or trying to help a spouse or family member fight drug or alcohol addiction.

Here’s a fast and effective 7-step method to organize your efforts when dealing with the big stuff.

1. Identify the source

Determine the real importance or severity of the issue. What’s the worst that could happen if you do nothing? Can the situation be improved or at least mitigated to a point that’s acceptable (you could live with the problem if negotiated to a reasonable or managed outcome), or does it have to be completely eliminated?

2. Do some research

If you feel comfortable asking for help from others, that’s fine. But always filter their advice by what they have to gain or lose from the situation. Taking the advice of a friend is always overshadowed by a double-edged risk: If you employ the suggestion and it fails, it puts the burden of failure on your friendship; if you don’t take their advice, they may be offended that you didn’t think enough of their input (or them) to use it.

3. Make a list of possible approaches

Just make sure to write down your ideas. The real value in this step is not that one option will stand out from all the others, but that you’ll recognize a combination of two or more of the approaches as the better alternative.

4. Don’t forget on-line forums monitored by professionals and experts in their field.

5. Change your viewpoint.

The answer may not come right away, but the exercise kick-starts your brain into thinking in larger pictures, going beyond your personal inventory of resourses and experiences.

6. Implement your approach

7. Monitor your progress and if necessary, change your tactics

Be persistent, but also realistic. At some point along the way, you’ll wonder if it’s worth the effort to continue the fight. In confronting any problem, there’s always the ever-present option to quit — to tell yourself nothing can be done and accept the consequences of surrendering to the situation.

Essentially, you’re telling yourself it’s easier to live with the problem than to change it.

Keep this in mind: You might be right!

This is especially true when problematic situations and circumstances are symptoms of an event or incident outside your control. For example, if your job has become a nightmare of bureaucratic BS because the small business you work for was purchased by a Fortune 500 company, it’s doubtful you’ll make any progress in returning your work environment to it’s former, comfortable nature.

Realizing the change you seek is outside your authority or beyond your influence, can eliminate a lot of frustrating, non-productive effort upfront, leaving you with fewer, but more realistic choices.


Roger A. Reid, Ph.D. is a writer and founder of SuccessPoint360 — his business website featuring articles on career advice and strategies for enhancing professional and personal development. A certified NLP trainer with degrees in engineering and business, Roger draws on his background as a fourteen-year corporate employee, business owner, and management consultant to help others achieve higher levels of career success and personal fulfillment in the real world. Follow Roger at SuccessPoint360.com, LinkedIn, Medium, Facebook and Twitter.

Betterism

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Thanks to Glen Binger

Roger A. Reid, Ph.D.

Written by

Roger A. Reid, Ph.D. Writer|Founder of SuccessPoint360-Career advice & strategies for enhancing professional & personal development. https://SuccessPoint360.com

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