Look For The Opportunities In Every Problem
Problems are a daily part of our existence. It doesn't matter who you are or what station of life you are in; you will always have problems. Age is no exception and neither is wealth. Even though this is true across board, most of us have unhealthy associations with problems.
For as far as I can remember, even as I write this blog, I have always had a relationship with problems that I struggle to change. Most of us, myself included, tend to have a negative association with problems in how we perceive them.
We tend to think of problems as something undesirable and that we should not have them. Far from it, problems will always be there. We sometimes think that once we make that ton of money then our problems will evaporate or once we find that perfect companion our problems will be a thing of the past.
What you will quickly realise with this kind of thinking is that as you set each goalpost for the things that need to happen for your problems to be eliminated, you will find more problems once you get there.
So, what is the solution to the problems we have? Since problems will always be a part of our existence, what can we do to deal with them more effectively. I propose that we change our perspective to try and identify the opportunities that are always there when problems arise.
Simply what is required is a change of perspective. A change in how we see problems. Doing this is simple enough but is in no way easy. The first step in changing our relationship with problems is to understand their true nature.
The True Nature of Problems
When we experience any sort of problem, we suffer because of how we see problems. If we want to start business for example but have no capital, we become despondent and are unable to move forward.
That is where the issue is right there- becoming despondent. Instead of panicking when faced with a problem, wouldn’t it be better to change the way you perceive it?
Instead of looking at the problem as the end, look at it as a challenge. There is something remarkable about changing the wording of circumstances that helps us perceive them in a more positive light.
Labelling the problem as a challenges shifts our psychological perception of it. By nature challenges demand more of us. They spur us forward and make us give more of ourselves. Challenges demand that we give our best and what’s more important, they give us hope for better future possibilities.
Stop Playing The Blame Game
Maybe it’s just me but my instinctive response to problems is to look for someone or something upon which to place blame. This automatic response is so strong, but I have come to realise not very helpful, and it is counterproductive.
Finding someone or something to blame makes us feel like we have a handle on the situation and can shift responsibility to someone or something else. Whilst this might make us feel better and give us a sense of false security, it does not move us to a place where we can identify opportunities in a situation.
Playing the blame game simply shifts responsibility to others or to something else and doing so places us in a situation where we do not feel like we are in control of our circumstances. Like I mentioned earlier, identifying opportunities within problem involves perceiving them as challenges and we can not effectively do so by placing blame on other people or on circumstances.
I do not intend to imply that it is acceptable to shift blame on oneself however. Far from it, we should always avoid apportioning blame even if it is on ourselves. Self-blame does nothing in helping us realise opportunities within problems.
Rather than assigning blame, as a general rule, it is better to avoid playing the blame game if we are to identify opportunities in every problem.
Seek The Opportunity Within The Problem
In my experience, there are always opportunities within any problem. The challenge lies in our ability to identify such opportunities. Have you ever had a problem and later looking back seeing that there is something you could have done but didn’t?
The opportunities are always there but a change of perspective is necessary in order to identify them. We need to stop looking at problems as “problems” and instead perceive them as opportunities. We also need to avoid playing the blame game.
One approach is to ask ourselves questions that help us see the situation better. An exercise in asking ourselves questions gets us into gear to gain more clarity and identify opportunities within the problem. An example of questions to ask oneself could be something like “who else can I consult?” or “what other avenues have I overlooked?”.
Everything discussed in this blog post is useless if we do not take the most important step which is to act. We need to take action whenever we are faced with a problem as soon as we have identified an opportunity. The activity of taking action will build our momentum in moving forward.
Do not make the mistake of waiting for the perfect opportunity to act. An opportunity is an opportunity and once you discover one you will discover more along the way. Start attacking the problem as soon as possible to discover even more opportunities within the problem.