How To Approach Problem Solving

Today, I feature a guest post by Garret Kramer:
The Problem-solving Fast Track
By Garret Kramer
Author of Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life

In virtually every business, organization, or family in the world today, people are doing their best to solve problems. And that's admirable. Yet, in my opinion, they are working way harder than they should. Even me, at times.

Yesterday, I absentmindedly scheduled two meetings for the same hour and didn't know what to do about it. I racked my brain searching for the solution, and, before I knew it, my head was spinning. So I resigned myself to the fact that at least one client was going to be upset, possibly two. Funny thing, though, the minute I did that my thinking slowed and the answer to my supposed dilemma appeared. Since both clients were members of the same organization, I offered a joint training where insights could be shared freely. It worked, and both clients thanked me for what they learned that day.

Here' the way 99 percent of us approach our problems:

We perceive a circumstance as difficult, so we conclude that the way to solve it is to think about it some more.

Here's the way we should approach our problems:

We perceive a circumstance as difficult, so we conclude that the way to solve it is to see that we are not thinking correctly.

That's right -- to solve a problem, you must understand that issues always exist in your thinking, never in your circumstances. From a clear head -- a state of thoughtlessness -- no circumstance is problematic; answers and revelations abound. From a cluttered head -- a state of overthinking -- all circumstances are problematic; confusion and roadblocks abound.

In other words, just because you can't find a solution at that moment, doesn't mean a solution doesn't exist. All of us have experienced struggles that appeared to be the result of a certain situation, only to later ask ourselves: This situation isn't so complicated, what in the world was troubling me? Contrary to what we are led to believe, problems are never the cause of a disquiet mindset; they are a symptom of a disquiet mindset.

The bottom line is that we in a thought-created reality, not a circumstance-created reality. Therefore, it makes little sense to think more about a problem that is the result of too much thinking to begin with.

How do you get on the problem-solving fast track? It's pretty simple, actually. Realize that all experiences (including perceived problems) are born from thought -- not from the world outside. This understanding alone is what activates the minds natural ability to find clarity, and answers, without any effort at all.

© 2012 Garret Kramer, author of Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life

Kramer is the founder of Inner Sports. His clients include Olympians, NHL, NFL, MLB, and collegiate players and coaches, and he often conducts seminars about his "inside-out" paradigm for performance excellence in athletics and business. Garret has been featured on ESPN, WFAN, FOX, and NPR; and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Sports Illustrated


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