Do you have that one friend who talks about their problems constantly? Or maybe they have one really juicy problem, and it’s almost become part of their identity… They talk about it, tell stories about it… Maybe they even introduce themselves as “Hi, I’m so-and-so, and this is my problem.”
If they are a particularly skilled problem cultivator, I’m sure they’ve also perfected the oldest trick in the book: the one sure-fire way to reduce the possibility of solving their problem to ZERO.
All you have to do is blame it on someone or something else! Voila, your chances of solving that problem are now nonexistent.
Well, what if instead I told you that there’s a strategy PROVEN to shrink your problems! Do you want to hear it?
Convert your problem into a question.
Instead of focusing all of your energy on the PROBLEM and elaborately describing it to everyone you know, ask yourself a question that will lead to a solution. The human brain is such a cool resource; the second you ask yourself a question, it opens the door to so many possibilities you’d never considered!
For example… A few years ago, I was stuck in traffic on the way home from our Training Center in Atlanta, and wondering how on earth I was going to sit in this kind of traffic a few days a week without losing my mind. I mean, I probably sat there an HOUR and I wasn’t moving an INCH. (If you’ve ever visited Atlanta, I’m sure you can relate…)
But then I saw a helicopter way up above the interstate, free from the depressing mess of traffic.
Suddenly, the wheels were spinning. My brain cranked out the first question… What do I need to do to get a helicopter? I know it might sound crazy, but I got as excited as a kid on Christmas. So I researched it, googled it, excitedly shared it with my wife, and she shot it down like she was holding a freaking machine gun. Too expensive. Not practical. Etc… Ok, so onto round two— could I RENT a helicopter? Turns out, I could!
The bottom line is this… Every second you spend developing your problem without asking yourself a QUESTION is another second wasted. Instead of saying, “I can’t afford it,” ask yourself “HOW can I afford it?” Do you see how much more productive that is?
Whether you like it or not, the great determiner of your future tends to be your history. So if you have a problem from the past, and you constantly drudge it around with you in the PRESENT, you are significantly limiting what you can accomplish in the FUTURE.
And what’s worse is that you are probably blaming your problem on someone or something else… which means your chances of solving it are currently at 0%!
So here’s my challenge. Starting today, you need to promise yourself to take responsibility for ALL of your problems. If you’ll just admit that it’s YOUR problem and convert it into a question, you’ll find out that your brain holds the key to the solution.
I even go so far as to take responsibility for the problems of the people that work for me, and honestly, I think that every leader should. When your team sees you taking responsibility for problems, (even those that aren’t just yours,) they’ll dive in to get a piece of the action.
It’s pretty hilarious— I’ll tell my team something is MY fault, and they’re all instantly competing to take part of the blame. But that’s how it should be!
Take it from me: converting your problems into questions will become a habit. Like any good habit, it’ll take self-discipline, and a whole lot of practice. If you have a problem in your Practice and would like to discuss your QUESTION, give me a call at 844-242-1992. Or, check out http://www.schedulinginstitute.com/
Until next time,