Friday, November 14, 2008

Life Choices and Living with them – “problem seekers” Vs. “Solutions makers”

You’ve probably heard before that life is all about the choices we make and that “the best way to make God laugh is to tell him about your plans”. Judging from my own experience…. God must laugh a whole lot!

So, when life doesn’t really go according to your plans…. What do you do? Are you a problem seeker or a solution maker? The difference between the two types is pretty simple!

Are you a problem maker?
- Are you worried a lot?
- Do you usually look at the negative aspect of things?
- Do you always foresee problems that might arise if you do this or that?
- Do you find yourself looking for someone / something to blame when things don’t go according to plan?
- Do you often find yourself in the position of a victim? Feeling like the world’s against you? Thinking that someone/something ruined your life?
- Do you often find yourself without a “plan B”?
- Do you panic easily when your plans fail/change?
- Do you tend to depend on other people?
- Do you get mad at these other people when they don’t work according to your plans and/or expectations?
- Do you get discouraged and paralyzed by fear/anger/panic when plans change/fail?

If you see yourself in the above questions, chances are you are a problem seeker…. That's the “bad news”. The good news is that you’re very normal! In fact you’re like most people in this world!
The “really good news” is that you can learn how to become a “solution maker”!

So what is the key to shifting your view and focus in life from “problems” to “solutions”? Very simply put: RESPONSIBILITY!

Now, you might be thinking “That’s a heavy word!” but it shouldn’t be. All it means is that you have to take the responsibility for the choices you make. You have to be ABLE TO RESPOND (Response Ability) to whatever life puts on your plate. That’s all. And believe me – it’s NOT as hard as it seems, but it does take a little practice.

That said let’s go over the keys to “solution making”:
- Be prepared! Have a plan B.
- Don’t depend on other people – other people have their own life choices to make and they do not owe you anything! If you depend on them and their choices don’t match your plans – don’t be surprised!
- If you have to depend on other people – have a plan B! and a C and a D if possible!
- Be prepared to pay the price and make the necessary trade-offs! Some times the solution is very simple and at hand if you are only willing to make a trade-off. Yes, it might not be the ideal solution but nevertheless it IS a solution and will allow you to move on, rather than be stuck in a negative mood with a problem on your hands!
- Respond to challenges rather than React. Reactions are emotional, they will usually make you panic, get mad, frustrated and therefore unable think clearly and act.
- ACT! Don’t sit still and cry over spilled milk! Don’t wallow in your misery and don’t be a victim! Act, change your plans as needed!
- Be Flexible! We live in a dynamic world. Reality is not a fixed thing. The true meaning of “create your own reality” is actually “be flexible, change yourself and your plans as needed and be responsible!”
- Keep it simple! Life doesn’t have to be complicated! It sure isn’t if you don’t make it so!

Remember: True freedom goes hand in hand with responsibility. When you respond to challenges, when you make your own choices without depending on others, when you act upon your choices and take responsibility for them rather than blaming others for your failures – then you are truly free! If you continue to behave like a victim, if you continue to look for who or what to blame, if you continue to be stagnant and soak in your own misery – you will forever be trapped in the emotional prison of negativity.

If you continue to seek the problems – they will continue to find you!

Instead – Make your own solutions and treat every change as a challenge and an opportunity to learn and grow!

Good luck!

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