How To Solve Persistent And Frustrating Problems

How To Solve Persistent And Frustrating Problems

"To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly," said Henri Bergson.

Life is a creative act.

It is a series of events, one after another, and sometimes one over another.

Through this procession of things happening to us, we experience change-and hopefully, growth.

Maturity, however, is not assured. We may have to repeat the same thing over and over again. Yet we still don't get it right.

When a chain of events that cause discomfort repeat in a circular pattern, we call them problems.

They can be infuriating...and extremely frustrating. The longer they continue, the less we know what to do about them.

For example--no matter how hard you work, you always end up with more month than money.

Or, no matter how hard you try to be patient, kind, and understanding, you always end up in a relationship with someone who is extremely difficult.

And so on. I think you get the point.

These are circular issues. You may change the job or the person-and yet, somehow, you end up in almost the same situation.

What is the solution?

It's creativity.

It's not about doing more or trying harder, nor is it even about soliciting an expert opinion-it's about changing your mind, your circumstances, and your life by finding a new answer that specifically works for you.

Since, ultimately, you're the final authority on your life-the best advice from an expert will be simply to point you to your own creativity. General advice may give you some direction, but you have to tailor it to your particular psyche for it to work.

Here, then, are three quick steps to becoming creative.

It does take some work, but not as much as staying stuck.

First, define the problem as clearly as you can. The length of words or quality of language you use doesn't matter. Make it so plain and so obvious that anybody reading it would understand right away what is bothering you.

Second, step outside the problem and pretend to be someone else, an expert observer. Choose a known expert, either someone you personally know or a historical or famous personality. It has to be someone whom you highly respect. Now pretend to be them, to be inside their body and their mind as they review your problem and think about it.

Third, as this world-famous expert, make a list of all possible answers, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Brainstorm until you can't come up with any more answers. Then take a long break and brainstorm some more.

Finally, turn it over to your unconscious. Your answer will come in an unexpected way. It may be something that you brainstormed-or it may be something else entirely.

You'll know exactly what to do and how to do it.

It Takes As Much Energy To Fail As To Succeed

As humans we have only a limited amount of mental, emotional and physical energy before we need to recharge.

It seems logical, then, to conclude that energy is an essential element in both failure and success.

They both use energy.

And it takes as much energy to fail as to succeed.

Many people don't quite fathom this simple concept.

After all, it seems that failing is like rolling down a hill while succeeding is like climbing up one.

Failure appears easier because it's root appears to be inertia, which is expressed as apathy, grief, fear, lust, anger, and pride.

Yet when you really think about it, all these states are extremely debilitating and result in extreme drops in energy.

In addition, these states stimulate very difficult circumstances, and love and support, finances, and health are further drains in energy.

It takes a lot of energy to fail.

Like an old gas-guzzling car, you get very poor mileage, and performance drops with each mile. Energy is consumed rapidly and inefficiently.

Conversely, success is a rise to states of courage, acceptance, and peace.

Since success is never in isolation, it always serves the public good as well. Any act of success is an outflow of contribution. It benefits everyone.

Once you reach a certain level of success, it actually becomes less energy-consuming, and a certain momentum takes over.

In fact, success itself is a highly energy-efficient state, because you feel good, you're surrounded by cooperative people, and your relationships flourish. Your financial well-being and health improves, too.

It takes energy, however, to become successful-because, like a rocket ship pressed down by the earth's gravitational field, you need to exert an excess of force to climb to new heights.

Furthering this analogy, once you're in space, you need to burn less fuel and yet can travel with equal or greater velocity.

Naturally everybody would rather succeed than fail, but success is envisioned as an almost a mythical concept, attained by only a few, and very often restricted only to certain aspects of life and not as a state of being.

How does one succeed in life in general?

The answer is both simple and complex.

It's simple because you become successful by learning how to be successful. You associate with successful people and learn how they do things. You read books on success. You master the elements of financial literacy, relationship building, and health maintenance. Study and practice-that's how you do it.

It's complex because there isn't really a curriculum laid out for you-and you have to learn how to self-educate yourself about success.

It takes energy to learn to be successful, but once you get the hang of it, you can get on a roll and then things just seem to escalate from then on.

Success incorporates failing-but rather than perceiving failure as a limit and a stopping point, a success-oriented person sees it as a learning tool, responding to it as feedback.

Rather than using failure as a way of dropping to a low mood level and becoming ineffectual, it is used to learn what not to do and how to discontinue what does not work. It takes some experimenting to learn what works and what doesn't. Learning what doesn't work is valuable information because it pushes you further to what does work.

The energy it takes to become successful, then, is twofold: the energy it takes to learn new ways of doing things, and the energy it takes to learn to using failure as a stepping stone rather than a sign to just give up.

Since it takes as much energy to succeed as to fail, doesn't it make sense to start pointing yourself in the right direction?

Why People Fail To Achieve Goals

Although most self-help experts claim that setting goals are the golden key to success, many people set goals and nothing happens.

Why does this happen?

Imagine Harold is obese, went to get a physical checkup, got alarming results, and was sternly warned by his doctor to do something about his excess weight or else....

Motivated by fear, Harold decides to set a goal of losing weight.

His first goal is to read a book on weight loss and to then set a plan into motion.

He reads the book and makes a plan, then months later finds that he did not even follow his plan.

Here is what has probably happened.

He did not write down his goal, and he did not read it daily. In effect, he lost track of what goal he had in mind. He drifted away from his goal and looking back, he sees that he did not do any work toward it.

Looking back over the wasted 6 months when he could have accomplished his goal, he saw that he did not act because-

He felt tired after work, and he did not have the energy to follow his goal of eating right and doing exercise.

He got distracted, and he had to help his mother recover from her hospital visit, his wife deal with the kids and his friend Ed find a new car. Besides, there were ball games, TV shows, and trips to the Zoo with the family.

He justified himself when challenged by his wife on not following his goal with the word "but" in his in "I was going to it today BUT I didn't because..."

He got into agreeing while disagreeing by saying, "yes, but" in his in "Yes, that is a great idea, and I'm going to do it, BUT..."

He became eloquent in arguing for his limitations. "I'm just one of those people who don't have strong feelings about things." "If only I had been raised by more assertive parents, I might have been able to deal with the pressures at work better."

He started to offer reasons why rather than produce results. "Well you see the reason I can't do it right now is because..."

He made self-defeating choices, moment by moment, day by day, week by week, and month by month.

He basically felt uncomfortable changing his habits. He felt twinges of fear, guilt, and unworthiness. He felt hurt, angry, overwhelmed and confused. And he just "did not feel good" when he tried to work on changing his habits to align with his goals.

After six months, he remained as obese and as unhealthy as before despite his doctor's warning about his alarming physical checkup results.

It's easy to set a goal, and it's easy to make plan, and when you don't know how to execute your plan, it's possible to educate yourself...but the real work is in doing it, diligently, day-by-day, in a highly focused way. The truth is that anyone can achieve any goal if they can get out of their own way and (as the Nike people suggest) "Just Do It."

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