Problems. We all have them. As many who listen to these Teleseminars know, we often even refer to goals as problems. Why? Because while the goal itself may not be a problem, the fact that we have to devise a way to attain that goal is.
Thus, goals are problems.
We can solve any problem, though, by using what is taught in The Master Key System. It’s all there.
To make it easy for you, I listed the “five simple steps” to solve any problem.
I did this for two reasons.
The first is that a majority of what I do is solving problems. I am very good at it. It’s part of my nature. I also love doing it. I sometimes go nuts if I don’t have a problem to solve. I enjoy “crunching the numbers” and thinking about the various possibilities and solutions.
I must admit that sometimes I do it to my detriment, as I can easily be either be distracted or overly involved in solving the problem. I’m getting better, though. (And often, isn’t that what all this stuff is about?)
The second reason I decided to list these five simple steps is because when you look at successful people, the number one thing they generally do is … You guessed it! … Solve problems! From good middle managers to politicians to titans of industry, successful people are known as “problem solvers.” We refer to them when we need help with something. We go to them when we encounter obstacles. We go to them because we know — or at the very least we hope — that they can solve or help us solve our problem.
So, let’s not tarry any further. Let’s get to solving our problems!
The 5 Simple Steps to Solve Any Problem
When I delivered these steps, I used as my running example a person getting a flat tire. That’s something everyone can relate to. It’s also very tangible. I should mention here, though, that these very same steps are to be used on any problem we encounter, from the tangible to the intangible, from the small to the large.
Here are the steps:
- Assess your current situation.
- Define your end result.
- Assess your resources.
- Wash – Rinse – Repeat, if necessary.
1. Assess Your Current Situation
The very first step to solving any problem is to assess your current situation. That means to know exactly where you are and where you stand.
This can be quite difficult to do, especially when you start to go for your big (and perhaps not as tangible) goals.
It’s difficult because we sometimes run into two difficulties between which we vacillate.
The first is that we sometimes over-esteem our virtues, or “positives.” The second is that we sometimes underestimate our flaws, or “negatives.” To add to the difficulty, sometimes those are switched: we underestimate our positives and overestimate our negatives.
Using and knowing The Master Key System, though, we understand that to really do this properly — and perhaps easily? — we have to be most “dispassionate” and objective as we assess our situation.
We want a very balanced and true estimation of where we stand. We want to have a level head — not panic-y and all “end-of-the-world-y” but also not “rose-tinted-glasses.”
As we learned from the exercises in The Master Key System, it’s important to relax, remain clam, and to not let our emotions rule us.
Got it? Good. Let’s go to step 2.
2. Define the End Result
This step utilizes two very important things we learned in The Master Key System: using visualization and using our creative imagination.
Here, you are to visualize exactly what your ideal outcome is to be. In other words, what is your “problem solved” state?
Define it. Be thorough about it. Use your creative imagination to construct it. Visualize it.
3. Assess Your Resources
In this, the third step, you’re going to assess the resources you have at your disposal, be they people, places, or things.
It should be mentioned that this step will play hand in hand with Step #2, in which you are visualizing your end result. That’s because your end result may sometimes determine your path, which is sometimes determined by what resources you have with which to work.
In our flat tire example, you might have a cellular phone, which can be an easy solution to your problem. Then again, you might not have a signal. So you have to check the spare tire. You have to take into account if you’re on a road with lots of traffic or if you’re on a “road less travelled.” Weather conditions may come into play. People available to you may take part.
All these things intertwine to solving the problem. The main point in this step is to use what you have.
For longer range goals — not ones like this flat tire example that are emergencies — you can develop the resources you need, such as relationships, skills, and knowledge.
It’s important to know what you have and what you need. And that’s the point here.
4. Take Action!
I think this step speaks for itself. Here is where you enact your plan. Done.
5. Wash – Rinse – Repeat
After you’ve taken action, see what you’ve done. Is the problem solved?
If it is, then you’re done.
If not, then you’ll have to “go back to the drawing board.” You have to gage your results — once again, honestly and objectively — to see where the error is. Does it lie with you? With what you’ve done? Is the plan inherently flawed? These are just a sample of the questions you’ll have to ask.
The point is to make an honest assessment of where you are now, after you’ve taken action. You might have to try the same exact thing again! Alternatively, you might have to move to “plan B,” whatever that is.
It’s important, though, whichever the case to keep going until the problem is solved.
In other words, never give up!
An Exercise to Get This Method “Bone-Deep”
For some, this method may come naturally. For others, it might be something new.
Whichever the case, it’s important to get this method “bone-deep,” like all of the philosophy of Charles F. Haanel. What that means is that you should aspire to learning and understanding this “stuff” so that it comes from you naturally, practically automatically.
To get to that point with these five particular steps, the best thing you can do is to practice it on everything you do. For example, take something you do, such as making dinner. As you go about that task, which is something you may have done literally hundreds (even thousands!) of times, you mentally think about the 5 steps here and assign what you are doing to the proper step.
As is written in many a self-help tome: “As in the small, so in the large.”
When you go to attain one of your real goals — or if you are in a situation like our flat tire example — you’ll be able to run through the steps. It will occur naturally.
When you get to that level, you’ll be a leader — a problem solver.
And that’s a good thing.
Until next time, please get for yourself the best of everything.