My Chinese master used to say, “You can’t have peace if you don’t solve your problems.” I’m not sure that I really understood her at the time. I hadn’t seen into enough people’s lives to realise just how expensive and destructive it is to maintain problems.
Think of the mental space that’s occupied when you have a problem you can’t solve. Even when you’re busy on other stuff, it’s running all the time in the background. It distracts your attention, shifts your focus and reduces your concentration.
And then think of the energy it consumes. You can never relax, never let go, never really enjoy yourself. It affects your sleep, stops you from being fully present and prevents you from being truly alive.
Now multiply that by all the problems you carry around with you on a daily basis and add the financial cost of not solving them. Lost opportunity, lost performance, lost connection – ultimately a half-lived life.
I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be so serious, especially when it’s a holiday weekend, but I’ve been thinking about this for the last few days and it seems crazy to me that people allow themselves to live with so many problems that they don’t solve for such a long time.
I’m so grateful that I was taught a way of solving problems that I can apply to every situation in my life, whether it’s my physical health, relationships, business or something else. There’s an art to it, and it takes plenty of practice, but it’s based on principles that work every time. The really good part is that it’s exactly the same approach for every different kind of problem.
Here are some principles I’ve learned:
- Every problem has a solution.
This means that there’s no room for hopelessness, apathy or saying it’s impossible and you need to be open in every situation to finding the solution. It radically changes your approach to life if you apply this principle – even when professionals say there’s no way to solve your problem.
- The solution is always new and lies in the future.
This means there’s no point in looking to the past or present to find it. The future hasn’t been formed yet, so the only way you can access it is by connecting with the energy of the future. This is incredibly powerful because you can influence and change the energy you connect with, which means you can influence and change the future.
- You connect with future energy by being relaxed and open.
This means that there’s no point in worrying or thinking in a closed loop about problems, as that connects you with the past and closes you to the source of the solution. One way of opening up is to use formal relaxation techniques, but enjoyment and happiness are also very powerful (being serious and working too hard tends to get in the way).
- You get better results when you go for a great solution.
This means it’s far more effective to believe a win-win-win solution is possible (or a solution that’s good for everyone involved) than to go for a win-lose scenario (or a solution that involves disappointment or compromise for you or for others). The simplest way to find a great solution is to look for what makes you feel really great when you imagine it.
- There’s often a better solution than you can imagine.
This means don’t limit yourself by your imagination. If none of the options you can picture feels good, trust there’s a better solution that you don’t know about yet. This is very powerful and things often happen that you could never have predicted or caused.
Of course, it’s very easy to write about principles, but not always so easy to take the right action, especially when a problem’s very personal. I often meet people who are very good at solving problems in one area of life – usually business – but get completely lost when they face health, relationship or family problems. They can’t see anything outside the problem itself, which makes it virtually impossible to find a great solution. Then they head, almost inevitably, for an outcome they don’t want but don’t know how to avoid.
That’s why it’s so important to learn a way of problem-solving which works in all areas of life. It’s the art of creating a great solution, even when you can’t imagine any good outcome, and it gives you a totally new level of inner peace.