Reframe your problems


When you're faced with projects or problems, do you find yourself wrestling with and losing to them? Then maybe it's time to put yourself on the winning side of those matches.


Begin by heeding the words of Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, who said, "Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions." If you think about projects and problems as interruptions and confrontations, you will probably struggle with them, which may lead to poor decisions about the actions you take. 


Don't let projects and problems overcome you. Instead, tell them to come on over. Think of them as opportunities and challenges. Welcome them as partners who can teach and strengthen you. It's all about reframing what's in front of you and looking for the questions before seeking the answers.

Try frame-storming to explore different ways to frame a challenge. For example, let's say you're going to throw a birthday party. Suppose you brainstorm about planning a birthday party. In that case, you get a particular set of results. But with frame-storming, your question may become, "How do I plan a birthday celebration?" and you'll get different kinds of ideas. And asking, “How do I make that day memorable or unique?” will create yet another set of ideas.


With anything you undertake, always Ask Why? You may think you know what you want to do, but why do you want to do that? Like the annoying toddler, ask why. Then ask why to the next answer you get. Again, and again. As many times as it takes. Many whys in, you may discover your best opportunity to get done what you really want to get done.


Re-frame your big challenge into a set of smaller challenges. Doing this can create momentum and open new possibilities for you.


Know your limitations. With creativity and perseverance, you can do a lot with a little. Having limited resources, while inconvenient, can actually help you move mountains. 


Play the opposite game. Re-frame your challenge by thinking of ways to get the exact opposite outcome you want. Then, do the opposite of that.


Look at the big picture. Zoom out. Then zoom out farther. And again. Then zoom back in a couple of times. This is an excellent way to re-frame the context of your challenge. You may find questions like, "What am I really trying to accomplish?" or "How important is it?" 

Yes, maybe some projects and problems may be left by the wayside. But if they're not, then watch your thoughts and words to reframe what's in front of you, and look for the questions before seeking the answers.


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