Usually when something goes wrong people will always try to focus on the problem. People spend lots of time investigating the problem, some of which is useful to ensure that lessons can be gained from the situation, but often it’s not focused on finding a solution. I think there’s a difference between “defining” the problem and talking about the problem – and most of us get caught up in talking about the problem.
Imagine that you’re driving down a scenic highway. Suddenly you come to a huge rock in the middle of the road. At this moment you have several options. You could try to explain how the rock ended up there. You could also go into resistance mode, complaining about the carelessness of highway construction or the lack of state funding for rock removal. Or, you could bypass all this negativity and remove the obstacle from your life at once. Instead of explaining the rock or resisting it, just drive around it. When faced with obstacles, people often respond with questions based on explanation and resistance, such as:
- Why am I so alone?
- Why does this always happen to me?
- Why am I such a failure?
However, you always have another option. You can ask questions that help you drive around any obstacle in your life.
Questions have uncanny power. Questions direct your attention and along with it, how you think and how you feel. If you want to create different thoughts, feelings, and results into your life, then ask different questions. Focus on the lesson to be learned
Start now by skipping the why questions and begin asking what questions, such as:
- What’s the lesson here?
- What’s great about having this problem?
- What’s my next action?
What’s the lesson here?
Everything hinges on how you interpret experiences, and your interpretations can change over the years. A single event can take you a step closer to emotional contraction or expansion. It all depends on how you interpret that event. You should interpret these obstacles as yield signs rather than stop signs. Instead of resisting a challenge just lean into it. Ask yourself, how can I interpret this event in a more powerful way? What’s a positive lesson that’s waiting here to be learned?
What’s great about having this problem?
Each time you resolve a problem, you gain valuable experience. The more problems you resolve the more experience you have. Soon, a problem that use to be daunting in the past will no longer have the same effect because you will have the ability to know how to deal with it. Learning to focus on the solution rather than the problem will change your life. You will end up using your time more efficiently and productively.
What’s my next action?
This question shines a spotlight on solutions. No matter what happens, you can choose what to say and do in response. Rather than manifesting resistance or explanation, you can choose your next action. Successful people hold a bias for action. Add inspiration and intention to the mix and you gain an unstoppable momentum.
If we allow problems to get the best of us by negatively focusing on the problem instead of finding a solution, the problem will fester into something far greater than what it is or was in the beginning. But if we focus on the solution, we can solve the problem and move on to whatever comes our way next. I would recommend not completely forgetting about prior problems, but take them as lessons learned so that if and when faced with them again, you will remember what was done to overcome and solve the problem and you will be better prepared to solve that problem again.
Sinead Kane – The Kane Ability, Motivational Speaker