Problem Solving Algorithm
In my book Taming Life – Happiness Is Not a Myth I explain in detail what happens when we think, how our thoughts affect our body and subsequently our mind. I outline the good, the bad, and the ugly, but I also wanted to give you guys some ways out, some tools, if you will, that will help you to take control of your life. This is tool number one. This tool helps you to identify the problem areas and it also helps you to come up with ways to address the problems.
This is tool number one. This tool will help you with your environment. By environment I mean that it will help you to change things for yourself in the world you live in. It’s really easy and can be fun. Remember that this is like deciding how you want your life to change if you had a magic wand. Now have a go at this problem solving algorithm and have fun with it, go crazy, no idea is a bad or stupid idea 🙂
I hope you are taking in what I’m sharing with you, I’ve put a lot of thought into writing this book, well, it has come easy but during the process of writing I’ve had to think on the go, which has been difficult for me because my mind isn’t like other people’s minds. My mind is always on speed. It runs at the speed of light so trying to keep up with it has been challenging for me.
So we know now what a problem is. We know why we perceive problems, where our thinking comes from, what influences us, we know about Belief Systems, perceptions, inferences, attitudes, stress and what it does to our body and mind. We know how Neurons communicate and how our brain communicates with our body. We know about our biochemistry and what those chemicals do to us. We know about our addictions and we’ve also learned to self-analyse with courage and honesty. We’ve learned how to identify our own thought patterns, how to address our old Belief Systems and how to perceive life anew.
Now I’d like to share with you a simple exercise I was taught at Swinburne University while I was studying computer programming, it’s called a Problem Solving Algorithm and it’s very easy to do but the results will blow your mind.
The first thing you do is to get a piece of paper and draw a line across the very top, leaving enough room to write down some headings. Then you draw two lines running down the page, top to bottom, creating three columns, with the centre one being a little wider than the other two. Once you’ve done that you write the headings as illustrated below.
Step one – On the far left column, write down a problem you have for which you don’t have a solution. If you have a problem and you do have a solution but you’re not sure whether you should do that or not, it doesn’t matter. You can write that down as well. This works for any problem you might have. This kind of algorithm is used in science, in mathematics, in business, in information technology and in any other field that knows about it. It can work with anything.
Step two – On the far right, write down, in relation to that problem, what you would like the situation to be in an ideal world. Don’t place limits on yourself here. Write anything. This is just an exercise, you don’t need to know how you’re going to make this happen at this stage. All you need to know is that you would like it to be like this – No Limits.
Step three – In the middle column write down all the possible ways or avenues that you can come up with that will create a bridge for you to let you walk yourself from column one on the left of the page over to column two on the far right.
Notice how I went from step one on the left to step three in the middle and then step two on the right? It’s not a mistake, there’s a reason for this.
You might think that this is a pointless exercise but let me assure you that it isn’t. Doing this exercise doesn’t mean that things will automatically happen. This is not a letter to a magic genie, though if you’ve watched The Secret, then I guess it is. But the point is that by doing this exercise you are actually thinking about the problem, but most importantly, you are thinking about the solution. You see, when we are experiencing any kind of problem we usually focus on the problem and we try to imagine life without that problem. We just want things to go back to normal, but one thing we don’t do is to focus on a possible solution. We just think that we don’t know what to do, so our problems linger until the bubble bursts.
Below I have done a sample of what you could write. Remember that I don’t know your specific situation so I can’t specifically advise you on what to do.
As you can see, the center column has ideas, at this stage you don’t have to know how to make them happen, all you have to do is to write them down. You can make these Action Bridge action lists as long as you want. At no point think about how to make them happen. At this stage that is not important. What’s important is to get down as many ideas as you can. This is called brain storming, and during this session no idea is a stupid idea. Let me repeat that, no idea is a stupid idea.
Once you have written down as many ideas as you can imagine, as ludicrous as they might seem, think about it some more. If it takes you several hours, days or a week to do this, then take the time, don’t sell yourself short. You want as many ideas in this middle column as you can think of, even if they seem like ridiculous ideas. Write them down anyway.
Once you have come up with all you can come up with, even if you think that some of these ideas are stupid ideas, under each point in the middle column write down at least a couple of different ways that you might be able to make that particular point happen for you. You’ll be surprised at what you can figure out. Sometimes you won’t be able to figure it out, but that’s alright, there’s always this thing called Google, you will find millions of pages with ideas on how to make that point happen. But stay on that point, you never know, whilst thinking about it, or whilst researching ways to make it happen you might accidentally stumble on other ideas or solutions. This is a really cool way to solve problems. Any problems.
Once you have written down at least a couple of ways to make each point happen, find out what it will take to make it happen. For example, let’s say that in the row where you’ve written that you have too much debt you wrote as a possible solution that you can get a stall in the Sunday market. Find out what markets operate in your area, go there on Sunday and see what people are offering. It might give you ideas of what is not being offered, and if this is the case, find out where you can get what is not being offered and then get your stall and sell that product there. Do the research, don’t discount any idea because you think it’s not going to work. Find out, educate yourself, don’t let your old limiting beliefs or your perceptions and attitudes keep you down. This is very worth the effort.
The above are just examples, but if your problems are not listed here, make your own list. Write it all down. Make as many lists as you have to. Throw in as many crazy ideas into the middle column as you can, you’ll be surprised at what you can come up with. This works with any problem, in any area of your life, I know because I’ve done it many times. In fact, you’re now reading this book because this idea was once one of these ridiculously crazy ideas in my middle column.
True story 🙂
All rights reserved. © 2016 Tony Jarrah