“If you look for problems, you will find problems; if you look for solutions, you will find solutions.“ — Andy Gilbert
Nowadays, it’s very common to complain and focus on misfortunes rather than solutions. I used to do the same until I realized that focusing on solutions gives me more energy and success than I could ever imagine…
Do you focus on problems or on solutions?
Last year I started collaborating with a new client. I remember that in one of our first meetings, he asked me what went well in the last period, and what can be improved. When I started to talk about what I would like to improve, I started to complain about a conflict with a colleague.
After I finished expressing my thoughts, he moved the discussion back to the present and asked me the following questions:
- What did you learn?
- How can I help you resolve this situation?
- Next time you encounter a similar situation, what will you do differently?
We continued talking about how we can improve the process, and how to deal with this kind of situation in the future. We put aside the frustration and focused on learning.
90% of the discussion was about solutions, and only 10% was about the problem.
Looking back at that meeting, the results were incredible! I learned a lot about conflict management, and now my collaboration with that particular colleague is amazing. I learned that complaining doesn’t get you anywhere. It just consumes your energy, and holds you back from new opportunities.
“Do not blame the world. Find a solution.” — Sri Chinmoy
Sometimes when we complain too much about a problem, we end up with more negative thoughts and problems than we had before. When we encounter a challenge, our mind tends to remain stuck there. Usually, we over-analyze the situation, and the disappointment gets bigger and bigger.
As a consequence, we lose a lot of energy and creativity. Even when we think that we have put the problem behind us, it sometimes comes up again when we least expect it.
The question is, “What we are looking for?” Solutions? Compassion? Maybe revenge?
It is in our nature to seek compassion, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, we should understand that we haven’t failed the moment that a problem arises. We fail if we are not able to get over it as soon as possible.
Problems are nothing but opportunities to change something for the better.
A problem is like a puzzle. If we find the missing pieces, and match them together, we will be able to have a complete picture of the challenge and move forward more powerfully. If we leave it as it is, or postpone it, we will continue to build our lives on an incomplete foundation.
“Identify your problems but give your power and energy to solutions.” Anonymous
Changing a habit is not easy, and it can take some time until you begin to do it naturally. By practicing every day, incredible results will come. There are 3 steps that you can take when you are faced with a problem:
1. Ask yourself what can you learn from the situation.
2. Decide on a few action items and solutions.
3. Start working on them.
Don’t forget to write down your thoughts! This habit will help you have a better perspective, and it will be easier for you to analyze the situation. Every problem you solve brings more experience.
Are you ready to use your problems as learning tools?
Challenges are part of our lives, and we cannot avoid them. Instead, we can take advantage of them, by learning and seeking solutions. Next time you are faced with a problem, remember that you can approach it differently. Try to focus on solutions, and you will enjoy the benefits of success!
Are you up for new opportunities?