Tuesday, January 3, 2023


Your voice could be the voice that solves a problem but first that voice must be respected and heard.

Build the respect. 

-- doug smith

Monday, January 2, 2023

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Friday, December 30, 2022

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Shrink That Problem

Left alone, problems continue to grow.  That's not what we want, but problems don't care about what we want.

Shrink that problem to insignificance by solving it.

-- doug smith

Friday, December 23, 2022

You May Need to Do Something

No matter what anyone tells you, some problems can not be imagined away.

We'd like to believe that positive thinking can accomplish anything. Anything? I'm not so sure.

It's comforting to think that our beliefs matter more than the facts -- but have you ever pitted your beliefs against immutable facts and prevailed? That stove top will still burn your hand no matter how much you believe that it is harmless. That gathered army on your border could still invade you no matter how positive you think about your enemies.

I'm not against a metaphysical awareness -- far from it -- I just don't rely on metaphysics when physics is in control. 

Imagine all you want. Believe all you want. But, that problem you are facing probably will need some action if you want to solve it.

-- doug smith


Thursday, December 22, 2022


Difficult situations amplify fear. When we are uncertain of how to handle a situation, it can push our fear out into the open.

But, it is worth considering:

Problems are not the cause of fear. Problems can be the cure for fear.

Whatever brought the fear on, once you've solved the problem in front of you, that fear is likely to fade.

There are so many benefits to solving problems that we might as well keep solving them!

-- doug smith


Wednesday, December 21, 2022


A house without problems may be filled with lies.

I'd like to pause just to ponder that.

Problems are not abnormal. Problems are a natural outcome of life in action. While our hope and desire may be perfect harmony, and we may spend considerable efforts toward obtaining that perfect harmony, for most of the time the perfect reality is that some things are not balanced, some things are not optimal.

Problems simply exist.

It gives us the fun opportunity to solve them, even while inconveniencing us or slowing us down.

But a house without problems? A business where no one ever complains? A family that seems totally devoid of dissonance? How can that even be?

A house without problems is probably hiding something. And that hiding is a problem.

-- doug smith

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Just a Nudge

What if that problem is really a process to a better result? 

Sure, it looks like a problem. It aggravates. It blocks. But what if there's a message underneath that we wouldn't otherwise discover, if it wasn't for the problem?

Maybe that message is: change this. Make this better. Set a better goal. Work to achieve it.

Even a poke can be a nudge that we need. That problem is just a nudge.

-- doug smith

Monday, December 19, 2022

Be Careful of Shortcuts

It may be tempting to side-step a value to try to solve a problem. We rationalize. We justify. We promise it's a temporary thing.

But busting values is NOT a temporary thing. A broken value does not easily heal. It leaves scars.  

A broken value leads to protracted problems.

Keep the value, find a better solution, and let's stay centered. 

-- doug smith

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Solving the Problem...

Problems proceed with uncentered mischief without our consent.

They play with us, they push on us, without caring about our focus.

The focus is up to us. Staying centered is up to us. Solving the problem...is up to us.

-- doug smith


Saturday, December 17, 2022

Friday, December 16, 2022

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Suggested Problem Solving Guidelines

Centered problem solving relies on problem solvers who are focused, mindful, centered individuals. Working collaboratively is easier when the team members are personally fine. Here are some suggested guidelines for working together in a way that helps sustain that sense of centeredness.

Speak and act with clarity, creativity, courage, and compassion.

That's it.

These are also four core strengths of leadership, with the fifth being centeredness (which results from careful attention and development to the other four.)

None of us are perfect at any of these key strengths. Putting them together in focused combination bonds and builds us in ways that are far more difficult otherwise.

Clarity, creativity, courage, compassion, and centeredness: it's the heart of centered problem solving.

-- doug smith