What size problems can you solve?

For as long as you’re alive on this planet, or are active in the workplace, or have parental or relationship responsibilities, you will encounter problems – difficult situations that you have to face to overcome them. That’s not good or bad. It’s just reality.

How we view and deal with these problems determines what we become and what we achieve as we journey through life.

  1. Problems provide opportunities for us.
    If you’ve been seeing problems as a negative feature in your life, I urge you to reframe that view. Without encountering problems, the human race would simply never have advanced. In wrestling with a particular problem, we find solutions that improve our quality of life and/or prospects for the future.

Look at the problems you’re encountering right now. Ask yourself what opportunities they contain – for learning, growth, reflection, change, improvement. Once you’ve identified the opportunity, take your courage in both hands and start solving the problem.

  1. Problems contain messages for us.
    Very few people understand that life communicates with us through our problems. An unhappy person in a difficult relationship may not realise that life is telling them that this is not the right relationship for them. If you’re not enjoying your job and it is full of problems that you don’t enjoy solving, maybe life is telling you that you’re in the wrong job.

Start listening to what your problems are telling you about your life, relationships, career and decisions, and you’ll start to hear messages that you had previously not heard. When you start to hear those messages, take note and respond appropriately.

  1. The size of problems you can solve determines your value in the world.
    While every human being is valuable and precious, people who can only solve small problems are not as sought after as people who can solve big problems.

If you want to build a successful career, look for big problems to solve. The bigger the problem you can solve, the more valuable your services become. That’s why problems have created billionaires out of people who have found ways to solve them.

So, next time you encounter a problem, don’t shy away from it, and don’t complain about how unfair it is. Instead, ask yourself what opportunity the problem presents or ask yourself what hidden message the problem is sending you. If the problem is big, all the better. Tackle it head on. It is providing you with an opportunity to show everyone exactly what you can do. Who knows? The very next problem you encounter could be the one that takes you to new levels of expertise and rewards.

And the more problems you solve, the more in demand you will become, giving you an opportunity to find success and significance.

Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag, and a professional speaker. He assists executives to prevent, reverse and delay ageing, and achieve self-mastery so that they can live and lead with greatness.

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