One of the best ways to solve a problem is to first frame it. You can start to frame it, by first restating it in the form of a challenge.
Here are some problems:
- I’m having a bad day.
- I can’t get the support I need for the project.
- I don’t know where to start.
Now, here are some challenges:
- How can I have a good day?
- How can I get better sponsorship for the project?
- What’s the simplest thing I can start with?
Same problems, new frame … new perspective. Once you start asking your brain better questions, your brain kicks it into high gear and starts to problem solve. If you find yourself looping on the same question, then either change the question, or change your approach. For example, try asking yourself “How” questions instead of “Why” questions (“Why” questions can lock you in a loop or justify the problem your stuck in.)
Whenever you find yourself mired in problems, remember this one-liner reminder:
What’s the challenge, frame the challenge, find the solution.
And always tickle your sticking points with the famous words of Voltaire, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”
Photo by Shandi-lee.