Monday, June 18, 2018

Energizing Goals

Centered problem solvers set clear and energizing goals.

How many ways can you think of to solve your problem? What if you framed your problem as a goal -- how many ways could you think of to achieve your goal?

Limitless? That's what I was thinking...

-- doug smith

Monday, April 2, 2018

Test Your Assumptions

When was the last time one of your assumptions was wrong?

It's so easy to jump to conclusions. We fill-in-the-blanks so many times in so many ways because it's just part of being human. But, when we assume that things are not going in our favor, when maybe there is no reason to, we do ourselves no service.

This is a picture of a recent training room for one of my workshops. It was day two of the two-day workshop and since the hotel staff had in the past forgotten to unlock the door to my room. I arrived, and sure enough the door was locked. Rather than get upset (something I might have experienced in the past) I calmly contacted the hotel staff and politely, yet assertively, asked to have my door unlocked.

"I can do that, sir," said a polite maintenance gentleman, "but you could also just walk in thru that second, open door..."

"Oh. Gee. Thanks!"

That was just a little embarrassing. Just about fifteen feet from the locked door was an open door. My assumption ("I'm locked out!") was completely incorrect.

I know better. You know better. And yet, every once in a while it is so easy to jump to a conclusion that I do. And often, when you jump to a conclusion, you've fallen into a trap.

Test your assumptions. The answer you're looking for might be right there all along.


  1. The next time you are working on a problem, take a moment to list all of your assumptions about that problem.
  2. Share your list of assumptions with someone who is impartial about your problem. Get their responses and ask open-ended questions.
  3. Ask yourself, "What if my assumptions is false? What else could be going on?"
  4. Let go of any assumptions that are not serving you well.

-- doug smith

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Center Yourself First

Those problems! Does it ever seem that they can take on lives of their own? They can seem so out of whack, so out of harmony, that we wonder what it will take to even start to get them under control. Breathless, we forge ahead bungling our initial efforts and creating a spinning circle of frustration.


Unless we first center ourselves. Unless we are already balanced, focused, breathing individuals. Ready for this challenge because we are simply ready. Confident. Quiet. Calm. Centered.

Center yourself first.

Solving problems without a centered self may lead to complications.

You're first on that list.

-- doug smith

Go Ahead

Have you ever tried to solve a problem but kept holding yourself back? I've done that too many times to count, and it doesn't count for anything. It doesn't work.

Feeling insecure will not make me more secure. Let it go. Open up more possibilities.

The magic, the answer, the solution is in the possibilities.

-- doug smith

Set a Positive Goal

The best problem solving achieves a positive goal.

-- doug smith