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Centered Problem Solvers Detach

Do problems spark an emotional reaction in you? Sometimes, they do in me. Then guess what -- I've got the problem AND the emotional reaction. That does not help and it does not solve the problem.

Attaching yourself to a problem just makes it bigger.

Step back, detach, depersonalize, and breathe. That problem is not you after all. That problem is either manageable or solvable. Find out which and get started.

-- doug smith

Recent posts

Room to Grown

I suppose that if a problem is easy to solve that it isn't even a problem. Just solve it and be done with it. A problem like that is more like a decision than a problem.

We all have bigger problems than that, though. We all struggle at times to solve what feels like an unsolvable problems. Some problems truly can't be solved, and must then be managed. How can we tell the difference?

We need to ponder the possibilities. We need to change the problem into a goal and figure out how to bring that about. The difficulty is like a framework for building something we haven't thought of before. The problem stands there, a form waiting to redirect our notions of what is possible.

Tough or not, solvable or not, a problem creates a space for traction.

A problem you can't solve is give you room to grow.


-- doug smith

Work to Understand

Jumping to solutions does not work. Faking it until you make it does not make it. Problem solving takes a centered, reasoned, analytical discipline combined with a creative and courageous mind. Put in the work.

It does no good to pretend to understand a problem. Work hard enough to truly understand.

-- doug smith

Drain That Problem of Its Power

Powerful problems not only get in the way, they can wrap themselves so tightly around you that you feel both constrained and defined. Not what you want.

And not a certainty. Solve the problem, solve the image issue.

Centered problem solvers do not allow problems to define them. Staying detached, staying focused, working to solve those pesky problems.

A problem has no power to define you once it's solved.

You know what to do.

-- doug smith

Find the Flaw In Your Thinking

How does it feel like when your mind is foggy? For me, fogginess happens when there are an overwhelming number of choices, or possibilities, or the problem seems to cut so deep that only a tourniquet will help. Fogginess can also come from incomplete thinking - we stop at a place that makes sense to our unseen bias, and move forward without looking for other facts.

Flaws in our thinking develop when our thinking is misdirected (it was true about something else so it must be true about this), polluted (that advertisement is just SO convincing), corrupted (it might not be exactly right but it's good for me), and any of dozens of factors that fog our thoughts.

The flaw that blocks you knocks you off center. The flaw that deceives you leaves you without a real solution.

Find the flaw in your thinking while you can still find it, or the problem is yours to keep.

-- doug smith


To disentangle and detach from an emotion that's tied to a problem, first understand the problem.

-- doug smith

When It's Not A Problem

We call lots of things problems that really are not problems at all. If we know the solution and can immediately solve the situation, it's not exactly a problem, is it? If money can fix it and we have enough money for the situation, then it's not a problem (I know, the lack of money can certainly be a problem).

If we haven't prioritized the situation and it requires our attention, it's not so much a problem as a choice.

Yes, we have lots of problems. Let's just be careful about avoiding a situation by labeling it a problem.

It's not a problem just because it doesn't fit into your agenda.

-- doug smith