The universe has a screwed up sense of humor. He, she, or it has provided you with a beautiful gift. This gift It’s wrapped in a problem.
Its huge, bulging, and inappropriately massive.
But if you can unwrap it, you get the gift. This gift can turn into the greatest ignitor of your success. But if you can’t, well, then the problem just sucks.
What Exactly is Your Problem?
I’ll just get right to the point: Your problem isn’t the problem.
Did you see what I just wrote? That doesnt make any sense. You know what also doesn’t make any sense: Quitting a secure job, staring a business, and trying to work for yourself at first glance.
In everything we do problems arise. I could go off on a tangent of problems. In fact thats a good idea. Im gonna do that!
- I discovered I hated teaching, while in the middle of getting a bachelors degree in Physics (paying thousands of dollars for it)
- I am horrible at math, and need to be very good at math to do physics problems.
- I wanted to quit college but only had one semester left to finish.
- I wanted to buy a new truck, but had no money.
- I didn’t know how I could financially support myself while in college.
- My closest supermarket doesn’t carry wheat bread (okay, now were just getting silly)
Within each of these problems, lies an answer. And the answers to each of these has propelled my life to new levels.
Within each problem, lies an answer that can be the great catalyst to your life
Problems Are Opportunities
I just took you on one heck of a roller coaster. Lets do a quick recap
- At first I told you within your problem lies an answer to living the life you want
- Then I told you that your problems are not your actual problems.
- Then I shared some of my own problems (which based on my last statement is not a problem)
Which brings us to the actual point of this article.
The real problem is that you do not have a clear and structured system to solve your problems.
The Simple 4 Step System to Solve Your Major Problems
I was going to create a simple 22 step system, but then I realized that would not be simple, and I also realized that there were only 4 steps.
And last I realized that if I gave you 22 steps that would be stupid. And one of my life rules is to avoid being stupid at all costs. I highly encourage you to follow this rule as well.
Step 1: Identify The Problem
If you are going to solve your problem, you must know what it is. Which sounds borderline redundant.
More often then not, the stress and anxiety we feel stems from the fact that we are encompassing 50 problems into a smorgasbord of information.
I have no money
I need to get married
I want to start a business
I can’t stop eating ice cream for breakfast
If you are going to attack your problem, you need to know exactly what it is you are attacking.
What is your biggest problem?
You need to be able to write this in 1 sentence.
If you are not sure how to do this, use the power of the word why.
Here is an example:
I want to make more money?
Because I do not want to feel stressed out all the time.
Because I feel edgy. I am always losing my temper. I want to be more patient with my family.
We can keep going here but you get the point. The real problem here, is that this individual wants to develop greater patience with his family. He believes money is the solution (and maybe it is or is not).
Ask why, and identify the real problem. Write it in 1 sentence.
Step 2: Turn The Problem into 3 Questions (and Answer The 3 Questions)
Now, look at the problem you wrote down.
Your going to turn your problem into 3 questions.
Here are the 3 questions:
- Why do you want to (insert problem here)?
- What are 5 possible actions you can take to (insert problem here)?
- What is going to stop you from solving this problem?
Take each of the above questions, and write down your answer to them.
Next I am going to show you how to use these answers to create an action plan.
And as you and I both know, action is freaking awesome!
Step 3: Create The Action Plan Using Your Answers
In step 2, I gave you 3 questions. Each of these questions has a purpose. They will help you put together a clear and detailed action plan to solve your problem.
On a piece of paper (or in a word document) write the following 3 sections. You will be filling in the information for each section based on your answers to the questions in step 2.
- The purpose
- The actions
- The barriers
The first question: Why do you want to (insert problem here)? will help you determine why you want to solve this problem. Its establishing a clear purpose. When you know your purpose it will give you the motivation to keep pushing forward in the face of adversity.
The second part of your action plan are the specific actions. By answering the 2nd question: What are 5 possible actions you can take to (insert problem here)? you will determine your actions.
But knowing the actions themselves is not enough, you need to also determine what will stop you. This is where the 3rd question comes in: What is going to stop you from solving this problem?
This final question will help you identify the potential barriers. Once you know the barriers, then you will be able to be better prepared when they do arise.
Step 4: Take Action
Now is the awesome, scary, exciting, and challenging part You have to do something.
Its time to get to work.
Print out your action plan, and post it on your refrigerator. Dont just stop there, post it everywhere!
Put it on your cars dashboard, on your bedroom wall, on your bathroom mirror, and on the door to your work (unless your problem is you hate your job Please refer back to my rule about avoiding stupid)
After you print it, make sure you take action. Because if you print it but dont take action, it means that you are a tree murderer. And nobody likes a murderer.
But if you take action, then you are a tree sacrificer, and that is much better.
Problems Are Not Problems
Problems are opportunities. In the beginning you do not need to know the what the opportunity is. Just know, there is an opportunity there. Move forward with faith that the opportunity will reveal itself in time.
What Do You Think?
Do you have a system, or strategy to deal with your problems. What is it?
How can you adjust the system I shared above, to make it even more awesome?