To find the answer to any problem, first clarify the problem.
We all have our share of problems, that’s just part of life, but it’s how we deal with them that makes the difference. My approach to find the answer to any problem, is to first clarify the problem and then deal with it.
You can’t bury your problems under the carpet and hope they’ll go away. This simply doesn’t work, and will eventually lead to you having to face major difficulties at some point in the future.
You can be hindered from making progress if you ignore your problems. By leave your problems unattended you are allowing them to grow into huge obstacles by not dealing with them. I can tell you that’s what happens when you leave them to fester. The longer you take to deal with your problems the bigger they will grow and the harder it will be to sort them out.
Another thing you need to understand is that a poorly defined problem is much more difficult to solve than a problem you have clearly defined and analyzed. The way a problem is understood has a big impact on the quality of the proposed solution.
Problems seem to wear people down. They have them coming from all directions. People have money problems, work problems, relationship problems, family problems, health problems….. the list goes on.
The good news is, you can deal with every problem which comes your way. I promise you that you’ll be far better off in life if you become someone who deals with life problems when they arise instead of being that person who faces problems with desperation, helplessness and depression when you encounter them.
Problem solving plays a huge role in moving you from where you are to where you want to be.
Today I want to offer you a simple, but extremely effective problem solving method to help you. There are six steps to take, and they are:
1. Clarify the problem. The hardest and most crucial part of problem solving is identifying the problem; that is, making sure you have the real problem. Ask yourself, if I solve this problem will it make the difference I want? To help clarify the problem, ask yourself. What is the problem? How does it affect you? When does it happen? What are the consequences of this problem as it is now?
2. Define the problem. Write down a “problem statement” – a comprehensive definition of the problem. A problem statement is a clear description of the issue that is troubling you that needs to be addressed. Defining the problem clearly upfront can be a real aid to the idea creation and problem solving that follows.
3. Generate possible solutions. It is important to think of a number of possible solutions to the problem to be able to choose the best. The first solution you think of may not be the most effective one. At this stage in problem solving, it is important to force ourselves to think beyond our conventional ways. Brainstorm as many ideas as you can think of that may be able to resolve this problem. Make an exhaustive list of all the possible options/solutions. Include everything that you can think of, no matter how ridiculous. At this point, you are just making a list rather than thinking through how useful it is
4. Select best possible solution. The next step is to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each of the ideas generated in step three. Once you have your lists of pros and cons, pick the solution that you feel is the best one. You could consider choosing a solution that is a combination of two or more ideas.
5. Plan of action. Your action will turn your solution into reality. It means identifying the steps that need to be taken to achieve your aim. Action planning is a process which will help you to focus your ideas and to decide what steps you need to take to achieve your solution dealing with the problem in hand. You need to write down each of the steps you need to take, then number the steps in the order they need to be done.
6. Evaluate – After creating and implementing the plan of action you need to check to see whether you have achieved what you wanted. You need to make sure your plan to solve the problem is working, and the changes you’ve made are helping.
By using these steps, problem solving is made easy. There are solutions to even the hardest problems, you just have to go through the process. By clearly stating the problem, looking at a wide variety of solutions before selecting your best alternative, action planning and evaluating, you are well on the way to finding the answers to your problems.