Christianity brought a lot of changes in my life. It helps me to think positively and gives hope in every difficult situation that comes in my way. Being a Christian, I believed that problems are just reminders that there is a great God that controls my life. Through problems I learned to evaluate myself whether I am in the right direction or not and somehow motivate me not to become stagnant but to go on with my life. As what Robert schuller said in his quote that “problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines” (qtd.in Sigers “Quotes about Problems”). All of us are unique and most likely we differ from one another even if we belong in a group. This is why not all Christians have same process in solving one’s problem. It all depends on how faithful we are in our own ways.
Most of self improvement books or even in internet tells us that problem analysis should be the first step in problem solving, but for me prayer always comes first. I believed that everything is possible in prayer. I usually encounter problems in schools and being a working student, problems often takes place. I tell God all my necessities and worries. “…but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanks giving let your request be made known unto God” (Holy Bible, King James Version, Phil. 4.6). And I believed in God’s promised to me, “if ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it” (Holy Bible, King James Version, John 14.14). I also believed that only Jesus can give me the enough strength and wisdom to overcome any life’s challenges.
After I pray, my next move involves defining the problem I want to solve. I begin to decide what I want to achieve and write it down. Most people keep the problem in their head as vague idea and can so often get lost in what they are trying to solve that no solution seems to fit. By writing down the problems somehow forces me to think about what I’m actually trying to solve and how much I want to achieve.
The next step in the process is often to check where I am, what the current situation is and what is involved in making it a problem. Understanding where the problem is coming from and how it fits in with current developments. In this stage I spent more time in stepping back and assessing the current situation and what actually needs to be changed.
After discovering the real problem I want to solve and have investigated the climate into which the solution must fit, the next step is to plan for a number of possible solutions. To plan is to think ahead of how to get something done (“Practical Thinking Tools”4). At this stage I usually concentrate on generating many solutions as possible. I treat each idea as new idea in its own right and worthy of consideration. Very often an idea, which would have been discarded, when evaluated properly, can be developed into a superb solution.
Very often I end up with one, many or no viable solutions. When come up with many solutions, I choose the best one while making others as a backup in case the former fails. Murphy’s Law, which states that “if anything can go wrong, it will and at the worst possible moment” (“Murphy’s Law” 937). In the case where I have no solutions seems to work, I then repeat generating solutions section to discover more potential idea. Linus Pauling, in his famous quote said that “the best way to get a good idea is to get a lot of ideas” (qdtd. in Sigers “Idea Quotes” par.5).
If none of my solutions really works, I immediately seek for my family, and closes friend’s help. Every person sees a problem differently. Others may have been through the same problem you are going through. It is then wiser to consult others for help.
The last and the most significant part in problem solving are to make the potential solution a reality. Plan your work and work your plan as the famous saying goes. It may take a year for a problem to solve but as what I had said earlier it all depends on how faithful we are in our own ways.
The process just mentioned above is only a guide for problem solving. It is useful to have a structure to follow to make sure that nothing is overlooked depending on the type of problem to be solved. It is very important that one is systematic in solving problem to save time and minimize wrong decision making. Pure acknowledgement and reminding of the process can also help in solving problem. But we all know that experience is the best teacher and as we grow up, we become more and more efficient in dealing with problems. As J.P. Guilford quotes, “to live is to have problems and to solve problem is to grow intellectually” (qtd. in “Creative Quotations for Brainstorming and Lateral Thinking”).
Image via Wikipedia