If you currently have a problem to solve, you may be intrigued by the headline of this post…
Because you know it cannot be that simple…
Surely, there is no easy fix to a difficult problem. Otherwise, you would have found it.
Instead, you have been spinning your wheels for days now, without finding resolution. And the problem remains in the back of your mind, when not at the forefront. It distracts you. It causes you to stress. It makes you unhappy.
Then you might think… Could there really be an easy path?
Well, that’s not exactly what I’m suggesting…
But I know it really helps to put a problem into perspective.
Start with these 3 simple questions:
- How would you describe your level of energy, right now: is it low or high?
- How critical is the problem to you?
- If you don’t do anything, what is the likelihood that the problem will disappear on its own?
To any problem—and I really mean any—there are only 3 possible options you can consider.
And based on your answers to the questions above, well, you are most likely left with only one option.
Here there are.
Option 1—Recover your peace of mind instantly
If your problem is temporary, and your energy level is high, well, your best option could simply be … to accept the status quo and stop worrying so much about the situation.
Let’s say you have too much work right now.
You are overwhelmed. And you hate it. Your to-do list seems infinite. But if you know deep down that you can do it, then just do it, even if it sucks. Three more weeks of long hours of tedious work, and things will get back to normal? Then focus on the end state, and let go of your need to rebel. Soon, your problem will be an experience of the past anyway.
If instead there is no foreseeable end date to your problem, and your energy level is high, then take another step back. Are the stakes high for you? Is this a battle that deserves to be fought? Is this truly important and meaningful to you?
If not, then consider accepting your circumstances for what they are. Focus instead on creating some space for you to relax and renew your energy, and do what you have to do. Don’t deplete your strengths fighting for something that is not essential to your happiness and success.
You have more important things to accomplish.
Option 2—Make things happen when it truly matters to you
There are times though, when a problem has huge impacts, when the stakes are high. It is then essential that you find a solution.
Under those circumstances, and if your energy level is high enough, then your best option is … to fight.
Fight for what is crucial for you.
Take a step back, and explore your options. Develop a strategy. Seek allies or mentors. And execute your plan diligently.
Again, let’s say you have too much work on your plate. It is piling up, and you don’t see the end of it. You are worried you will miss your deadlines, and it is not a perspective you want to entertain. What should you do then?
Try to delay the target date.
Delegate or ask people to help you.
Or drop items on your list which are of a lesser priority.
Consider delivering a smaller scope by the target date, and deliver the rest of the work at a later stage.
Go ahead. Develop your strategy. Fight the battle. Make things happen.
Because you have determined that solving this problem is essential for your happiness and your success.
Option 3—Invest in yourself to win
If you read through the options 1 and 2 and you feel discouraged or panicked, then you may have to resort … to quitting.
Options 1 and 2 do require a certain level of energy. If you are running very low, then it could be impossible for you to invest the extra efforts to handle the status quo or the fight options.
But before you make a decision, be clear on the actual importance of the problem, relative to your life priorities.
If the stakes are low for you, then give yourself permission to let go. Leave. Move to something else. Don’t deplete further your energy if it is not worth it.
But if, on the contrary, the stakes are high, realize that it might be really hard to overcome your challenges without first replenishing your energy. Ask yourself what you must stop doing that depletes your energy. And find what you must start or continue doing to increase your stamina.
And when you feel refuelled … go back to the sections above, and decide which of option 1 or 2 is best for you.
Let your life priorities—not arising problems—be your guide
Imagine the benefits of putting your problem into perspective.
You realize that you can look at the forest and not solely at the trees. It suddenly creates a totally new outlook for you, offering opportunities that went undetected before.
Now, you can see clearly which direction to take.
So… breath in, relax. Then consider the three simple questions, above, and use your answers to choose the best option for you.
You could be surprised how happy and successful it makes you feel.
It is such a simple yet powerful process.