Creating Solutions

Some Thoughts About Problems, Mistakes & Attitudes

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Better to fix the problem than to fix the blame.

Winners seek solutions, consider diverse ideas, and think of better possibilities.

Losers agonize over problems, criticize others, and fear uncertainty.

Yes, it can be difficult…that is why it is called “work”.

But…difficult work should not mean unpleasant work.

Physically difficult work burns up energy in muscles, etc. It strengthens the muscles…that is a good thing…unless you are lazy, in which case physically difficult work is annoying. Cognitively difficult work burns up energy in neurons and other places. It strengthens neuronal connections…that is a good thing…unless you are lazy…then work, again, is annoying.

About being annoyed or stressed out at work: the cause behind negative feelings is not work, so, let’s not place the blame on work when, in fact, negative feelings are caused by another culprit.

Forget your mistakes…right after you learn from them.

Some people advise you to “Forget your mistakes.” That is not good advice.

Our brains are powerful machines, designed to remember, not to forget. Why waste brain-energy fighting the natural flow of memory? 

Invest brain-energy learning from mistakes, place that learning in your memory, and advancing toward success.

There is an interesting relationship between goals and problems

  • if we focus on problems, we can get side-tracked and stall out before we achieve goals,

  • if we focus on goals, we build momentum and confidence and do a better job tackling problems, and

  • when we think beyond problems – when we desire success and focus our thoughts on goals – we have an easier time handling problems. 

Problems are like icebergs: their most-damaging parts are below the surface

We human beings have a curious habit. We tend to express problems in ways that conceal the real sources of our ‘pain’. I suppose our egos make us play word and mind games…prettying up our real problems with make-up so other people will view us in [what our egos hope will be] a better light.

Do not muddle through the same old problems

Some people muddle through the same old business problems – day after day. Often, they muddle with ‘people problems’. Muddled people experience stress and confusion but not success.

Some people learn how to solve their basic problems. This allows them to graduate to bigger and better problems…and achieve success.

Some people engage their talents to create and hone performance strengths so they can address new, more-lucrative problems.

Some people become problem magnets … attracting a never-ending series of similar problems 

Many of us do not see problems coming let alone see we are the people who create them.

For some people – problems get totally out of control…arriving one after another…time after time after time.

Some people cannot get out of their ‘problem ruts’. They need help replacing bad habits with better habits. They need the benefits found in other people’s talents & strengths. 

Unresolved, lingering problems gnaw away at brain energy.

Attack problems and pluck that destructive power away from them.

The human brain represents 2% of our body mass while it consumes 20% of our body energy. 

The brain is ‘energy intensive’.

Much brain energy is consumed/wasted on negative thinking – i.e., wasted on negative feelings and emotions…wasted on rumination & worry.

You gain energy value when you reduce your brain’s energy waste.

So – in football terms: tackle problems quickly, hit ’em high, hit ’em low … rip the ball out of their hands.

Spread your solutions. Spread better and best practices.

Challenge your leadership team to understand what it means to be best-in-class or significantly better.

Be bold. Be confident – your thinking is creating top-quality solutions.

Share your solutions and be open to feedback that helps you improve on your solutions and uncover opportunities.

Share your solutions with business peers…exchange ideas, exchange improvements, and exchange opportunities.

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