Life is a complex thing that is always associated with the sense of fulfillment. All our endeavors are geared towards a direction that we have set for ourselves. These are our goals that fuel us up with desire, the mainspring of action that will bring us to the very crest of our objectives.
Getting the most of what we want in life is not an easy task as our efforts are almost always beset with problems that need to be eliminated before we can hit the target. Problems are obstacles that pull us back from getting specific objectives. We need to overcome these hindrances in order to keep us on track and at the right pace. We need to solve each and every problem that comes along and between us and our specific purpose. Facing and solving problems is life’s most common battle. This is the very reason why many problem-solving techniques had been developed.
The way I look at it, problems are but challenges that measure our steadfastness and determination to get specific goals, for beneath every problem is a rewarding fulfillment. If avoidance is not possible, problems need to be resolved rather than neglected, for it is in solving the problems that causes are won. Here are some of the approaches I do to solve my problem/s:
Establish the goal.
A specific goal needs to be established. No problem exists in the absence of an objective. We need to know exactly what and where we want to arrive at in order for us to properly determine our track and direction. For complex problems, it is sometimes necessary to for us to draw the steps leading to the point that we intend to arrive at, as in a work flow chart or an algorithm. This way, we can already identify potential problems, thus enabling us to find ways to avoid some before these can even occur. Knowing our direction is an important aspect in problem solving, as what Diana Ross said, Do you know where you’re going to?.
Identify and define the problem.
know or define the problem. Asking ourselves what
is the problem and to seek to understand more why we think there
is a problem is recognizing what caused it in order for us to get an objective approach to solve the problem at its root. Make a list of the problems that have been defined and categorize them according their nature, e.g. ordinary, legal, technical, medical, etc. Seeking the advice of experts could greatly help in the formulation of very effective solutions to the problems at hand and their opinions are more often free if their expert work is no longer necessary during the next and succeeding steps. “Hitting the nail on the head” is the best way to get it through. A page for every problem is recommended in order to facilitate entry and monitoring of suggested solutions.
Set your priorities.
Identify which are “wants” and which are “musts” in relation to the established objective. Sometimes, our way towards a goal becomes complicated because we tend to prioritize what we want rather than what must be, in order to close the loop. Musts are the needed factors that make a process most effective; wants, on the other hand, are personal preferences of the people involved in a certain process, creating a possibility for a deviation which compromises the outcome of process results.
Brainstorm for solutions.
Ask for the opinions of others. Brainstorm for solutions to the problem. Somebody may have gone through the same situations in the past. Problems are not unique, the same problem could occur to different people at different times, and effective solutions may already have been discovered. Asking for free advice from peers and friends is a good effortless way to solve a problem unless it’s too personal or too private to share.
Plan your course of action.
In the identified problems list, write all the proposed approaches, putting on top the ones deemed to be most effective. Plan your course of action withregards to the resources needed to implement the solution, (e.g. people, budget, equipment, etc.). If you are a manager or a supervisor, communicate the plan to those who will be involved in implementing it
. Have the plan implemented and monitor its progress against a pre-determined time-table. If the solution works, scribble the words “SOLVED” in the same problem list, specifying the current date and placing the list in a specific folder together with the rest of the problem’s pertinent records for future references. If the approach failed, the next alternative should be implemented. This cycle should be repeated until a suitable solution is reached.
Thank the people who helped you.
Acknowledging the efforts of those who contributed in finding and implementing the solutions to our problems is the best reward we can give to the people who in one way or another had extended a hand to bail us out of tight situations. These are the people who helped us attain our goal; they also helped us learn.