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On being solution oriented

Posted Jan 02 2010 6:51pm

The best way to solve problems sometimes is to create the conditions under which they are most likely to be solved. Weeds do not grow as well in well kept gardens. Being problem oriented is pulling out all the weeds you can. Being solution oriented is trying to create a situation where there is not as much to pull.

There is actually a school of psychotherapy called “solution-oriented therapy.” They follow a line of thinking something like this:

  1. Was there a time when the problem did not occur?  Or when it did not occur as strongly?  Or when it did not last as long?
  2. What happened when things were different?
  3. Can you do now what you did then?
  4. If that is a problem can you do just one thing (maybe the easiest thing to do) that you did then?
  5. If things have never been different have you ever seen them be different for someone dealing with similiar problems?
  6. What did they do to make things different?
  7. What could you do to that they did to make things different?
  8. If there are roadblocks to you implementing solutions what one of them would be the easiest to change or get rid of?
  9. If things cannot be changed is there a way you could change the way you think about the problem?
  10. Have you ever thought about it differently?
  11. Can you do that now?
  12. What changes in outlook can you make?

And so on. You  get the idea.

Another way to look at it is as the process of building “muscle” in your life.  What puts you in the drivers seat and gets you out of the position of being what it driven?

  • Taking care of you.  Sleep, nutrition and exercise.
  • Good habits.  Cultivate habits that take you to better spaces.
  • Increase importance and reduce urgency in your life.  Use your time and dont let time use you.
  • Take care of your relationship with others.
  • Attitudes.  Focus on gratitude and forgiveness.
  • Values.  Treat what is important to you as important.
  • Belonging.  Belong to something worth belonging to.
  • Skills.  Make sure you have the ability to do the things that make life effective.
  • Acceptance.  Accept what you cant control and what you cant do anything about and live with it.
  • Seek wisdom.  Learn from others.  Learn from your mistakes.  Study the lessons others have  learned from life and profit from what they have learned.
  • Prayer.  Seek higher authority.  and listen.
  • Walls.  Learn to recognize that walls are not doors and no matter how often or how hard you run into them they do not offer a way to get somewhere different.
  • Asking.  Be careful for what you ask less you get it.

There is no substitute for things going well.  And the road to somewhere always is preferable to the one that leads to nowhere.

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