One of the main tools I use with my clients is practical teaching. Showing them techniques that are doable and easy for them to use. Something they can immediately implement in their life. I, for one, am not a fan of reinventing the wheel or convoluting a matter. Keep it plain and simple and you've got my attention! Wouldn't you rather get to the solution...sooner than later? Besides, life is too short and time is of the essence.
As a mindset and success coach, my main goal is to show my clients how they already have what it takes (inside of them) to pretty much solve anything that arises. Sometimes we just need guidance to show us how.
For many of us, the initial reaction to any obstacle that seems impossible to overcome, is to panic. But I'll show you this simple technique you can apply to almost anything life throws at you.
Picture this scenario. You’re running late. Your alarm didn’t go off. And out of all days, your child spills something on his shirt. So of course, he has to go change, right? Anyhow, you go to the garage and start the car. It won’t start! WTW! Suddenly, all these potential problems start running through your head: I’m going to be late, the kids are going to be late, I’ve got a presentation to make at work, how are the kids going to get to school, how am I going to drop off my child’s prescription, and the list goes on and on. This is what we call…the domino effect. But remember, these are all issues, but they are not the main problem and if we’re not careful, they can be a distraction to us, preventing us from solving the problem at hand. But this is where we need to take a breather, get a grip and get clarity on what has the potential of becoming a dilemma!
Getting clarity on the situation...
Getting clarity on your problem means putting the other issues on the back burner and focusing on the one thing that is putting you in trouble. In this case, the problem is...your car won't start. Forget the rest (for now) and instead focus on that one central challenge.
Sure, you might have 'other' problems that may come from this situation, but for this exercise the most effective thing to do is to pick just one (preferably, the main one) to focus on first. A well defined problem will most likely have the solution within it. Read on and you’ll see what I mean.
Getting to the bottom of it...
In the process of clarifying your problem it's also important to make sure you get to the root of it. The problem 'you are going to be late' is harder to solve because it's more 'high level'. If the root of your problem is 'your car won't crank', then that's a better place to start. But let's go a little deeper, that can be broken down further to 'you've run out of gas' or ‘your battery died’. Suddenly the solution becomes clearer because you've broken it down. So, if the lack of gas or the untimely death of your battery is the 'root' problem, then solving it becomes easy. Calling a friend to bring you some gas and/or jump start your car solves the problem...viola. Now, you can concentrate on the ‘other’ issues. Have your other coworkers begin the presentation and you’ll join them as soon as you get to work. Ask your neighbor to take your kids to school. Drop your child’s prescription off during your lunch break. See how easily all the other residual effects are then solved?
Seeing it a different way...
If this doesn't immediately help (because the problem is more complex), then you'll need to take it a step further. Say for instance, your battery isn’t dead, but your engine has seen its last day, then you might want to try rewording the problem. In this case you can think of your problem as an equation and by flipping it around (while keeping the meaning the same) you can often start seeing answers. Using the same technique as stated above, you can pretty much solve the problem just the same.
Here's what I mean...
For instance...instead of focusing on the fact that your car won't start, break it down and focus on 'why' your car won't start. That's simply because...it's broken.
When you say ‘my car won’t start’, then your focus is around the fact that you can’t start your car and you get frustrated. But, if you come at it from the angle of ‘my car is broken’, you’ll be more prone to get to the root of the matter and actually take the next step to getting the solution for something that's broken...getting it fixed.
Another example...instead of saying ‘you have no car’, break it down and focus on 'what' happens when you don't have a car, and that is...'you have no way of getting around'.
When you say ‘I have no car’, again, your focus isn’t honed in and you’re stuck on the fact that you don’t have a car. And that’s what you’ll stay stuck on. But, if you focus on the fact that ‘I have no way of getting around’; then you’re more inclined to take action to actually... finding a way to get around.
Do you see how rewording it starts to give you solutions? By rephrasing the statement you can view it from a different perspective and this generally results in a quicker solution.
In the end, this all comes down to 'pinpointing your problem'. Once you've done this you'll have a target you can aim for (because you've broken the problem down to its lowest common denominator) and your solution will most likely be staring you in the face. When we take the other route of panicking and focusing on the wrong thing, we just prolong the problem and prevent ourselves from coming up with what we inevitably want...a fast solution.
As you can see, this one simple mind shift in changing your perspective on how you see your problem, allows you to refocus and use your energy, skills and resources (you already have at your fingertips), that under any other circumstances...you’d overlook! You can apply this simple technique to almost any situation. You may have to tweak it a little, but the same principle still applies.
God has given us everything we need within us to solve anything that comes our way. We just simply need to find a way to focus, hone it, and draw on the strengths and resources we already have within us!
So let's recap! You've got a problem. Break it down by asking yourself who, what, when, where or why. Then answer that conclusion with a who, what, when, where or why. And so on, and so on, until you've exhausted all answers. And therein lies your solution! Simple enough, huh?
I also like to look at everything in life from a spiritual perspective. I always see a reason behind everything that happens to me. I can't remember who said this, but a well known coach said, "don't look at things happening to you, look at them happening for you." Yeah, some things happen as a result of our decision making or from attacks of the enemy, but most things are happening to build our resolve, to grow our faith, and in some instances to save our lives. Your car stalling in the garage might have been God saving you from an accident that would've happened if you had left home on time...who knows?
But whatever you think the case may be, using these practical tips, combined with the Word of God, seeking His wisdom and praying...are sure to bring you the results you want!
Proverbs 18:15, Philippians 4:13, Mark 11:22-25, James 1:2-4
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