It is very important that individuals develop general thinking and problem solving skills in order to live a better life and to handle life as it comes up.  We recommend classes in logical thinking, decision making, and problem solving. (See the relevant pieces on this site by entering the terms into the search engine.  Some linkings are in the box on the left. A form of mini-classes is included in the videos on my YouTube channel, which you can link to from:  KahunaKeith YouTube Channel, Contents, Links, Guide. )


Definition:  Any question, or matter involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty.

Connotation:  We assume it is “bad” to have a problem and we make up consequences that are unrealistic and sometimes catastrophic in exaggeration.

This connotation is a “problem” in itself and a new perspective could be useful.    

Other perspectives:

    Problem:  "When an obstacle separates the present state from the goal state."
    Problem:  "When you can't move forward because of equal and opposing forces."

My alternate definition:  It is the "gap" between what is the current state or result and what is the desired result.  Problem solving then is about "closing the gap." A problem need not be the cause of upset.


Standard problem solving techniques:

Use this as a checklist to prompt thought or to find something you might not have considered or done.  The use of the forms provided elsewhere in these writings could be productive.  You might print them all out and consider which you would use.  (See “Problem Solving Forms” packet.)

1. ID and define problem

    __ Effects
    __ Causes (the source of the real problem)
    __ Agree it is a problem
    __ Make sure understanding exists, create it
    __ Use discussion

Other factors to consider:

    __ List all obstacles
    __ Identify (potential) problems and solutions
    __ Break problem into component parts.
    __ Define goals – what do I (we) want to achieve
    __ Psych barriers mostly
    __ Blindspots
    __ Use factual evidence
    __ Identify assumptions
    __ Apply reasoning     
    __ Is the cause and effect here rational?  Coincidental?
    __ Logically consistent?

2.  Seeking solutions:

     __ What other information, perspectives, and learning are needed
           __ Identify resources to help: Who (people), what (books, articles)
                __ Who (coach, expert, objective thinker) can help shortcut this process.    
     __ What ways can I get those?
           __ Use extensive writing as a discovery technique, possibly __ show to others
           __ Speak with a __ coach, __ counselor, __ very knowledgeable, rational friend
           __ Brainstorming*,  __ Use a focus group to come up with more solutions.  
           __ List 20 solutions**
    __ What are the prospective solutions?
    __ Which are acceptable
    __ Decide and agree on solution
    __ Set the agreement

__ Any new potential problems caused by the solution?

Other factors related to solutions:

     __ Clear up any negative reactions that impede problem solving. 

     __ Make sure there aren’t inaccurate predictions.

__ The bigger the problem, the more concentration and urgency in solution!!!!

*Wild ideas are encouraged and not commented on, in fact approved of!  Later, we go back through and eliminate what isn’t workable.
** See form:  Challenges – 20 ideas. (To get a form, enter the title in the search engine.

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