Why it is that the people who complain of their financial problem never get rid of it? Why it is that the people who blame their surroundings for an unsuccessful life never achieve what they want? Why it is that those who blame about their bad relationships never manage to have better relationships? It is because they focus solely on their problems in life, but never on solutions. They fail to understand that just shifting the focus from problem to solution will change their life.
Daniel Chidiac in his book “Who Says You Can’t, You Do” narrated a personal story where he bought a new car and after some days found that it started breaking down and overheating. His perception totally changed. He thought he was doomed with cars. By the time he bought a second, he believed he would never have a reliable car. Even though the problem might have been something as simple as the window not working.
Daniel would blame on being doomed and would just wait for the next thing to go wrong. He focused on the problem so much that he had a problem with all cars. He started disliking every car imagining he will not get a car that will not have any problem.
Although, the problem was something else, every time he starts the engine of his car he expected something to just blow up. His paranoia of car breaking down continued until he got in his friend’s car one day and his window stopped working. He smirked, shook his head and said, “We must be doomed with cars.” But his friend said, “Relax, it’s just a window.”
Thinking about his friend’s answer to his reaction, he realised there are people dying of starving in the world, and yet here he is complaining about a window not working properly.
Daniel writes further that, “it seemed okay to spend $ 400 on alcohol every week, but I would whine over having to spend $100 on fixing the window that will allow him to breathe.”
The problem with the problem-oriented focus
When we focus on problems we find ourselves in stress that leads to more problems. The author of The Relationship Handbook, George Pransky, believes that focusing on problems decreases spirits and makes things look worse than they are.
If we keep our problems aside and do not think about it, we are more likely to find a way forward.
Once one of my employees said that he had intense pain in his teeth and he would have to visit a doctor two times during the office hours. He was telling me this because he wanted to have some break to visit a doctor. Generously, I asked him to take a day or two off for the treatment.
His answer clearly explains how shifting focus to solutions will help to find a way to get rid of the problem. He said, “In the office, I will be busy so my focus will not be on the pain (problem) and I will have much relief.”
Pranksy said, “when we get caught up in our thinking about the problem it’s hard to see a solution – we often just get more stuck.”
The story of Daniel and my employee explain how detrimental it is if the focus is not shifted from the problem to its solution. Actually, it is very easy to focus on problems in life and escape the responsibility to find out solutions for the problems.
On the other hand, it is little tricky to shift the focus from problems to the solutions that help to change the life from stressful to happiness.
Here are some tips that will help you to shift your focus from problems to solutions
Change your mood
As soon as you caught up in thinking of your problem try to shift your mood. For example, you are doing your financial budget for the next month and came to know that your upcoming month expenses are more than what you earn. Of course, it is a big problem if you don’t have anyone else to support your finance.
However, instead of being caught up in the problem that may give you stress and unhappy days just change your mood. It can be anything from exercising to watching funny videos or movies to reading books that can get you out of the problem-thinking situation or moment.
Through this, you give yourself some time to get refreshed and making your mind more competent for thinking of the problem with solution-oriented focus.
Analyse your problem
Thinking about your problem again and again without any analysis will give you nothing but stress. As you have a fresh mind by keeping the problem away for sometime this will be a good time to analyse your problem. Write down the problem and look for the solution.
Take the example of the financial problem. Figure out what can be the ways to fit your expenses into what you earn. It can be removing some unnecessary or not-relevant-for-the-time-expenses.
Remove plans such as outside dinners or trip to somewhere on weekends from your expenses for the month. Instead, work some extra hours or working on some freelance projects to earn more money.
Through analysis, you will also learn that the thing you are considering as a problem is not a problem but it is your imagination that giving you a negative connotation.
Focus on the solution
Once you got to know the solution by analysing your problem then focus on the solution. Forget about the problem as you have already sorted it out by finding the solutions. Now take action. If you need to work extra hours then work for some extra hours. It will make you busy in your work that will obviously help you not to think of the problem. Moreover, it will give you more money which will sort out your finance problem.
Remember your blessings
People say phrases such as “why it is happening to me”. “Why only me, not anyone else”, when they face some problem. That is what worsen their problem. They do not remind themselves of the good things happening in their life.
Take for instance the finance issue. It is only one problem that can be absolutely solved. But you have good relationships with your family. You are doing great in your life, you have food thrice on your table, you have a job. All these are blessings that can help you to tackle the problems in life if reminded regularly.
“When you continue to focus on what you want (solutions), your whole demeanour adapts to your desire. Body language, vocabulary, the tone of voice, and even subconscious movements all shift to mould you into the person you need to be.” Daniel Chidiac in his book “Who Says You Can’t You Do”.