Select Page

How to Solve Any ProblemYou know the importance of applying discipline and effort to overcome any problem that stands in your way. But some problems call for more than steely determination—they require you to step back and apply some mental power.

Related: 4 Keys to Unlock the Power of Your Mind

If you’re faced with a roadblock like this, put it all down on paper. When you write a problem down on paper, you take the emotion out of it. With the emotion gone, you can look at the roadblock objectively. You can figure out what you did right. You can figure out what you did wrong. You can figure out how to change it.

Here’s what you do: Pick a problem out of your head and pull out a piece of paper. Draw a line down the middle of the paper. On the left-hand side, jot down the problem in detail.

We’ve got so much going on in our heads that it may just be difficult to isolate this particular problem. Just state it the best you can.

On the other side of this paper, you’re going to write some solutions. There are three questions to ask yourself to generate those solutions, to solve almost any problem.

Related: Think Slow and Other Tricks for Better Problem-Solving

The first question you need to consider is this: What can I do? You don’t want to go any further than that if you can solve the problem yourself. Start jotting down any options that come to mind. Lay out the alternatives. Then begin analyzing them. “Let’s see, number three… no, that one would take too long. I haven’t got that much time. OK. Number two? Not sure. OK. Let’s look at number one. Maybe the one I thought of first is my best one.”

If that doesn’t seem to work, here’s the second problem-solving question: What could I read? Maybe there’s a book on your problem. Somebody may have spent a lifetime trying to figure out this problem. You could receive the instant benefit of this person’s advice if you take the time to look. Maybe it’s concisely written somewhere. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. If you do your homework, you just may find the solution.

Start taking notes on what you’re reading. Book number one: This guy’s crazy. Book number two: This guy’s too shallow. Book number three: This guy’s got some interesting things to say about this problem.

If that still doesn’t work, then ask question number three: Who could I ask?

What should you have ready when you ask somebody to help you? You’ve got your notes to show them. You say, “You know, I’ve tried my best to figure it out myself, and it has left me short. Here are some of the books I’ve read. Here are my notes. I’ve researched this material, and I’m still confused. Could you possibly help me?”

You can’t believe how willing people will be to help you if they know that you’re willing to help yourself.

I promise you, if you try these ideas and ask these questions when you’ve got a problem, you’ll be able to solve just about anything that gets in your way.

Related: Creating the Right Attitude for Success

 

Excerpted from Leading an Inspired Life

3 Money Habits That Separate the Rich From the Poor

Here is an exciting thought! Why not work full time on...

How to Access the Power of Ambition

What is the origin of true ambition? There exists really only...

4 Straightforward Steps to Success
4 Straightforward Steps to Success

I’ve said it before, that success is the study of the...

How Do You Attract Opportunity Into Your Life?

Someone once asked me the question, “How can I have more...

Begin With Gratitude and Watch the Miracles Flow Your Way

Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you...

Whatever the Project Is, Start Today
Whatever the Project Is, Start Today

The key is to take a step today. Whatever the project...

How to Solve Any Problem
How to Solve Any Problem That Gets in Your Way

When you’re faced with a problem, ask yourself these practical questions...

4 Keys to Unlock the Power of Your Mind
4 Keys to Unlock the Power of Your Mind

Learning is possible, no matter what your age. You are never...

How Your Words Impact Your Success
How Your Words Impact Your Success

Sometimes the subtle difference in our attitude, which can make a...

7 Personality Traits of a Great Leader

If you want to be a great leader who attracts quality...

How You’re Killing Your Productivity
How You’re Killing Your Productivity

Productivity is essential to our feeling of self-esteem, accomplishment, and hopefulness....

The Key to Getting All You Want? Discipline
The Key to Getting All You Want? Discipline

For every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards. That’s one of...