How can we solve life’s problems, big and small? Be it a conflict with a friend or a larger societal problem like racism, everyone is capable of solving life’s problems. Too often do we feel like we are powerless to act; too often are we a part of the problem. Too often do suffer more in our minds than in reality, so it is time for an attitude adjustment and a mental overhaul.
Step one to being a good problem solver is to understand the problem. If you do not understand the problem then you will not adequately be able to solve it. Step two is believing that you can solve the problem and not being afraid to ask for help along the way. Whether you solve it on your own or utilize your resources, you still got to the same place right? Good problem solving requires innovative thinking. Sometimes one has to think outside the box in order to generate resources that previously were not there. Recognize that the only barriers are the ones in your mind. So step three is keep an open mind, and to not be afraid to use your imagination. This one may be the most important; because, society socializes us to believe that we must accept the way our society runs and the pre-prescribed roles that come with it. That means we are socialized into becoming members of our respective societies; that is essentially what we learn in public schools. Part of that is educating us out of divergent thinking and the use of imagination. But sometimes the tried and true does not work. Do we live in a utopian society? Do we live perfect lives? No, no we do not.
This may sound all great and dandy, but how can we apply this to life, as opposed to math and science class or some kid’s homework? Well the good news is it’s easier than you think. The bad news is it also simultaneously harder than you think. It is easier than you think; because, many of those skills are relatively easy to put into practice; harder, because, not only does problem solving take patience and diligence on your part, but often you are not the only variable in the problem. Becoming a problem solver is a mind set. But if you are committed to getting something—truly committed—then nothing can stand in your way. Just remember that while you may commit to change and improvement, others will want to remain stagnant and expect you to do the same. Yet progress is never made by being static and unchanging. You have to move somewhere; because, after all, even trees grow up.