The Problem-Solving Fast Track

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, most 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 person was going to be upset with me, possibly two. Funny thing, though, the minute I did that my thinking slowed and the answer to my supposed dilemma appeared. Since both people are members of the same organization, I offered a joint training where insights could be shared freely. It worked, and they both 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 we’re 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, answers and revelations abound. From a cluttered head—a state of overthinking—confusion and roadblocks abound.

In other words, just because you can’t find a solution at that moment, doesn’t mean that one 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’re led to believe, then, problems are never the cause of a disquiet mindset; they are a symptom of a disquiet mindset. So when you try to willfully dig into your problems, you are merely holding the same misinformation system in place—a head jammed with thought—that created the problem 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 points you inward, thus activating the mind’s natural ability to find clarity, and answers, without little to no effort at all.

 

 

 

Garret Kramer is the founder of Inner Sports. His clients include Olympians, NHL, MLB, and collegiate players and coaches, and he often conducts seminars about his “inside-out” paradigm for performance excellence. Garret has been featured on ESPN, WFAN, FOX, and NPR; and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Sports Illustrated. He is the author of the book, Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life, www.stillpower.com.