Earl Nightingale* had an exciting view of problems. He wrote that when it comes to problems, one is either part of the problem or the solution. Choosing to solve a problem can prove to be one of the most satisfying things you do.
Millions of people work a crossword puzzle every day. It’s fun. It is also problem-solving. Solving problems in life can also please you because it offers you an excellent opportunity for self-development and accomplishment.
Earl said we should “form the habit of looking for opportunities in every problem.” What an optimistic way to approach life! So how do we live in such a way?
1. Describe the problem. Use a pen and paper (or the notes section of your phone) and write your description down.
2. Define the problem. (Nightingale says you are “halfway to a solution when you’ve precisely defined a problem.”) It is at this step that opportunities often begin appearing.
3. Schedule a few minutes daily to ponder the problem. Doing so will cause your brain to process the information. When potential answers arise, write them down or dictate them into your phone. (There has been many a speech I have dictated into my phone early in the day after my morning coffee has kicked in. I wanted to get my thoughts down before losing the thread, and my quick action paid off.)
4. Examine potential positive prospects that you spot because of the problem. I wrote to you about this last week. I had a problem in South America, wasting large swatches of time waiting for buses to arrive at bus stops. The solution I landed upon was taking a book with me to read. The opportunity arose for self-education; if you have read that post https://workedgetexas.com/how-standing-at-bus-stops-gained-me-a-doctorate/, you know the rest of the story. Learn to brainstorm potential opportunities that could surface from problems you face.
5. Act on the best solution and opportunity.
So there you have it. A method from Earl Nightingale for problem-solving. Use this technique; it won’t be long before you look forward to problems because of the potential good you can unleash from them.
*Earl Nightingale (1921-1989) wrote and recorded more than 7000 radio programs and 250 audio, TV, and video programs helping people worldwide in their personal development. He is in numerous speaking, broadcasting, and business halls of fame. See the website: earlnightingale.com