Every one has problems – however why is it that some people manage to live with them successfully while others are struggle to overcome them? Sure, the size of the problem is relative however what really separates the latter group from the former is that they are familiar with how to solve problems successfully. If things seems to not be going your way, here is a practical guide to help you to rectify the problem you are facing.
Take a deep breath, and lets get cracking:
Define the problem
The first step in rectifying the problem you are facing is to define exactly what your problem is. This seems obvious however it is quite easy to get it wrong. For e.g. a guy might assume he is single because he doesn’t approach enough girls in a club – when in actual fact he is single because he is just not attracted to club girls. So trying to approach more club girls is never going to fix his problem of being single. However, lets assume the guy is a sapiosexual – therefore approaching just one girl in a book store for example may solve his relationship problems. So define your problem successfully. You could be hard at work doing the wrong thing!
Get someone to assist you in solving the problem
You are not an expert at everything no matter how much you like to believe it. Apart from this, there is always a benefit to an unbiased viewpoint. The key to solving a problem successfully is to discuss it with the right people. You are likely to get the best advice from family, friends or colleagues since they give and outside perspective. This will give you an holistic view on how to rectify the problem you are facing.
Find the root cause
In manufacturing processes, problems arise all the time. Therefore large companies understand that fixing symptoms will never be enough and will just result in the problem recurring in the future. They therefore employ a method called “root cause analysis” in which a group of stakeholders sit together and brainstorm the underlying issue behind a problem. The root cause is that one issue that if fixed will result in all symptoms being eradicated. Ask yourself: “what is the root cause to my problem.”
Find the best solution, implement and maintain
The next step to rectify the problem you face, is to identify what solution will result in the optimum results. In other words how can you fix the root cause. In many cases there may be more than one solution. You can then apply principles such as pareto analysis or the 80/20 principle to delve into what 20% of actions will give you 80% of the results.
Don’t rectify the problem only to realize you created more!
Life is essentially a giant causal loop. In larger more complicated systems, the process is referred to as systems thinking. Every action has an implication – you need to ensure that you are able to live with it. A great example of the process of systems thinking can be applied to a farmer; lets call him John. John realizes one Sunday morning that his crops are dying because of an annoying pest…lets call this Specimen A. John therefore starts applying pesticide on Monday morning. The results are great – within two weeks all crops start growing better and John is sure that Specimen A has been eradicated. Then something strange happen, his crop start dying at an even faster rate than before. Upon analysis, John realizes that by eliminating specimen A, he had removed the one mechanism that was protecting his crops from Specimen B….an even more deadlier pesticide. John then understood the effects of systems thinking……do you?
In a similar way we can apply this to a real life situation….Lets assume that you define your problem of unhappiness to be your current job. After discussing it with family and friends, you realize that the perfect solution would be to pursue your dream job. You manage to find your dream job but it is in another city. You relocate and things are great in the beginning however after a while you realize that you are unhappier than before. Your dream job has left you lonely and away from family and friends. You see…. it is very important to properly think about the repercussions of your actions.