08.22.2013

Problem Solving

Lately, there’s been quite a bit of uncertainty in my life. Things are uncertain at school for me, my future directions are uncertain (albeit in an excitingly ambiguous way), etc. Naturally, I’ve gone into full blown problem solving mode in attempt to gain some answers and some certainty. However, I’ve been finding that my traditional methods of problem solving (aka dwelling on the problem until I finally come up with a solution) are falling short of delivering some answers. So it seemed like perfect timing when I went to Barnes and Noble with a friend to relax and read some magazines while indulging in a chai latte, and I picked up an issue of Women’s Health Magazine that held an article on some underutilized techniques for effective problem solving.

problem solving Some of these made me think…for instance, pretend the problem isn’t a problem?? When I read on though, it was really about keeping the big picture in mind. For instance, just because I may have to make some changes now, does that really mean that my ultimate end destination will be dramatically different and horrible? Probably not. When I actually put these tools to use (drawing a diagram displaying which decisions and choices might lead to which outcomes, removing myself from my typical “problem solving” environment to expand my thinking, etc), I found myself much calmer and less anxious! While I certainly don’t have all the answers by any means yet, I definitely feel more equipped to find them! I hope you find these useful too!

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