Focus on solutions not problems
Everyone has problems. A problem exists when what we have (reality) collides with what we want (desire). It can relate to anything; relationships, finances, parenting, employment, etc. The problems can be very complex, but the solutions to those problems are often basic and simple.
I recently edited a book that was focused on identifying solutions and developing a plan to eliminate problems that are roadblocks in our lives. I really liked the author’s approach: focus on the solution and not the problem. She used a flower garden as the metaphor. The tree roots symbolized families and past experiences. The weeds and rocks represented the problems or obstacles. The beautiful flowers and fruit on the tree were the goals. It was a delightful book. The strong messages was, think about flowers and not weeds.
What we think about grows, so we need to think about solutions. For example: if someone wants to stop smoking and all they think about is cigarettes, they are likely to fail. But if they think about walking, seeing friends, reading a new book, taking a road trip, volunteering, or what they will buy with their cigarette money, they have a far better chance of being successful and not smoking. What we focus on grows.
We all underestimate the power of our thoughts. Our thoughts have a direct connect to our feelings and behavior. Our thoughts alone can cause or solve a problem, contribute to wellness or illness, and build happiness or destroy possibilities. Think about something other than the problem, and the odds of the problem shrinking are good.
Take parenting for example: if we want a child to be polite and say “Thank you”, we need to give him or her attention when he or she says, “Thank you!” We want that behavior repeated, so we give that behavior a lot of attention and positive comments. What often happens is we reprimand when “Thank you” is not said. That is a big mistake. Focus on the solution not the problem.
Everyone has problems, and everyone can control their thoughts. There is no better time to start practicing than right now. Use your thoughts to focus on solutions and enjoy watching your problems slowly fade into the background of your life. They might not disappear, but they won’t have an intense negative effect on your quality of life.
Until the next time: Live while you live!