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Seeing Problems in a New Way
By Michael Angier

I've recently had a major shift in the way I view problems. I used to see them as impediments in the path of accomplishment. Now, I see them as opportunities to get better—chances to be unique in the marketplace.

Perhaps I finally realized what Father Alfred D'Souza had when he wrote, "For a long time it has seemed to me that life was about to begin; Real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."

I've been calling problems "challenges: for twenty years trying to put a different spin on them. I knew that some of my biggest problems created some of the best changes in my life. But I didn't always recognize that while they were occurring. Now (at least most of the time) I'm able to look at problems with a more just a positive attitude.

The fact is, we're all going to experience problems. They're inevitable, and they'll keep coming as long as we remain on the planet. How we perceive these problems is CRITICAL to our success. If we view them as something to tolerate, something to just get through, we won't gain much from them.

However, if we embrace them and look for the good they can provide for us, we can make great progress. Otherwise they will impede us. It's all in the way we hold it.

Jim Rohn says, "Don't ask for things to get better, ask that YOU get better." Good advice. Ultimately, it's our challenges; it's our overcomings that shape our character and make us into better people.

One of the ways to help us gain a better perspective is to think of our problems like we were a well-paid consultant. We wouldn't be as invested. We wouldn't be as irritated. We would actually be glad there was a problem because if there weren't, there would be no work for us.

Make sure you understand the problem. Charles Kettering said that a problem clearly stated is a problem half-solved.

In practicing this exercise, you will have more objectivity and be more creative in solving the issue at hand.

If you approach problems as puzzles to be solved rather than disagreeable chores, you'll have more fun. Seeing our problems as challenges shifts our attitude from coping to conquest.

And remember, EVERY problem has a solution—usually many solutions.

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