As long as there are people there are bound to be problems, troubles, heartaches.
According to the Arlington Institute, the world’s biggest problems are:
- economic collapse
- global water crisis
- peak oil
- rapid climate change
- species extinction
Global Issues.Org also outline a number of serious challenges the world is facing.
Isn’t it interesting how some people are able to see problems as challenges and challenges as opportunities, while others only focus on fear, worry and trouble?
No one is immune. I mean, even when we are at our best, that does not exempt us from problems, does it?
But if that’s all you’re focused on, isn’t that all you should expect?
Knowing to handle problems is the difference between victory and defeat. If you don’t understand what issues are involved, you won’t be able to solve it.
Albert Einstein said,
“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.“
Many people try to avoid problems. They are afraid of what problems represent:
- additional responsibilities
- unwanted (even if necessary) changes
When we are overwhelmed with problems, that is when we wish more than anything for some HOPE.
I define HOPE as… Having Our Problems Eliminated.
When you think of it, our problems are small, compared to those of others. Most of us are not going hungry, lack a roof over our heads.
There’s an old adage that says…
If we were to gather up all the problems in the world and then distribute them evenly, how happy we would be to have our few back.
There’s something to remember about problems too. You are not alone. You won’t be the first person, or the last, to have them or face them. This should tell you that there is help out there, for whatever you’re facing.
A Story About Solving Problems
Sometimes, when faced with certain challenges, you need to entertain obscure options; something not so obvious.
A lot of times, those options are hidden in plain sight, right where you are.
That was just the case when I worked in the 9-1-1 centre in the Police Department. We faced many of the same problems everyday.
Lack of equipment. Lack of manpower. Lack of life-saving resources, such as enhanced 9-1-1.
The criminals would listen to the main operating police channels on scanners to determine manpower status. If they knew there were lots of manpower available to catch them, they would have a cohort place a false 9-1-1 call to divert police away from where they wanted to commit an armed robbery, a break-and-enter, or other such crime. It was like a wild goose chasing a red herring.
The criminals also knew that their chances of getting caught for making a false 9-1-1 call were slim. (Unless we locked the line and traced it, which they did not know about.) One person even dialed 9-1-1 to tell me he had figured out all the 10-codes but one, and would I please tell him? Not a chance!
My plan was simple: use a seldom used channel, one dedicated for emergency measures and jurisdictional prisoner transfers, as the channel to dispatch the major crime in progress. I confirmed at a local electronics store that nobody could buy a scanner crystal for that frequency.
I communicated my solution to these problems to each rotating shift of various platoons. Whenever a major crime alert came in, they could expect a small alternating siren yelp/wail/moan preceding the words GREEN ALERT. They were instructed not to acknowledge the call, not to repeat the address, or to have any discussion about the matter on the main operating channels.
Every unit was to switch to that private channel, listen for their number and simply acknowledge the call. No further discussion.
Just before doing so, I would advise other dispatchers of the GREEN ALERT and ask one to lock up the main operational channels with a repeat “All Cars” broadcast of a stolen vehicle or a missing person.
All kinds of apprehensions began taking place, with comments coming back, like “How did you catch me, man? I got a scanner?”
Officers would return to the operational channel with, “We’ve got (whatever #) in custody.”
Guess I was helping the environment “Go Green” even back then. 🙂
Shortly, thereafter, the “Cop Shop” began getting upgrades… fully encrypted channels, SWAT team, more equipment, and most importantly… enhanced 9-1-1.
12 Creative Ways To Solve Problems
There are no shortage of problems in the world these days. Here are some things to consider:
- ANALYZE ASSUMPTIONS. What you believe to be true may actually turn out to be false. Make sure you’re dealing with the facts.
- ANOTHER APPROACH. Perhaps you’ve exhausted all attempts. Perhaps you’ve trod the same tired paths that get you nowhere. Treat problems as multi-faceted gems, and start looking at possible solutions from other angles. This allows you to imagine new solutions.
- APPROPRIATE ATTITUDE. Is it possible that you’re looking at an issue with a defeatist attitude, a doubt-filled attitude, or a negative attitude? Changing your attitude may contribute to the solution. Have a winning attitude!
- FACT FINDING. Obtain as many facts as you can. This way you can make better informed decisions. And, you may just discover the one thing you need to know.
- INTENSIFY INQUIRIES. The more you ask, the better chance you have of finding the information you need to provide answers to the problems you face.
- OPEN OPTIONS. Remaining open to entertaining new ideas and fresh perspectives goes a long way to solving problems. Broaden your horizons by being open minded.
- PRAYER POWER. Sometimes we try to do things in our own strength. Sometimes, problems are beyond are control. Rather than spend time worrying about problems, ask God to help you. Philippians 4:6-7 (Message version) says, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.“
- QUALIFYING QUESTIONS. Sometimes solving problems requires asking leading questions. Here are a few to think about: What solutions worked before? What is different now? What will doing things a different way look like?
- RESEARCH RISKS. Examine what risks are involved, how they need to be managed properly. Keep risks in mind as you introduce new possible solutions, otherwise you may create a whole new set of problems.
- SEEK SOLUTIONS. Be solution-oriented rather than focusing strictly on what the problems are. If this is your mindset, you find better ways, more creative ways to solve issues.
- SMALLEST STEPS. Describe the problem as best you can. Break it down into its smallest components. Sometimes this gives you a better overview of the steps needed to implement a solution.
- TEST THEORIES. There’s only one way to know for sure if a theory is true and that is to test it.
For the acronym buffs… I define PROBLEMS as…
Predicaments Requiring Our Best Life Experience Manifesting Solutions
Over To You Now… Have your Say…
What ways have you creatively solved problems?
What problems do you face that you can’t seem to find an answer for?
I value your input. Please weigh in on this by commenting here.
Thank you very much! Have a great day!