Focus and get clarity

8 - Refocus and get clarity

Clarity of thought is a quality that is essential for every individual so that he /she can progress forward in the right direction. Unfortunately for a variety of reasons, individuals have always grappled with the problem of confusion, an inability to be decisive and worse of constantly looking back and wondering if they chose their path wisely. Most of our lives we have been told to avoid problems. In school one is taught to solve problems. Most of our adult life we are anticipating problems and seeking ways to avoid it. As a result the problem overwhelms us, we are hell bent on avoiding or solving problems and we are apprehensive of moving away from the beaten path lest we encounter problems that we have never experienced. So instead of exploring and discovering we prefer to gingerly and tentatively traverse on known paths occasionally daring to venture into some shallow waters. Our horizons are limited our growth is stunted and our sense of achievement is scaled down.

Today the startups, the youngsters having dreams of alternative professions and those leapfrogging from staid professions to dynamic alternatives are tribute to mind set change from problem avoidance to solution finding. Our training of being defensive and risk averse has actually prepared us to easily reorient our thinking into seeking problems and finding solutions. Instead of letting your mind constantly worry about the problem, let it now dwell in anticipation of finding alternative solutions. With this changed orientation in our thinking we allow our creative self to take over. Problems are merely irritants, solutions are there to be found and in finding the solutions you discover your potential, create something unique and possibly even build a new paradigm of success for yourself. Man’s inability to fly was a problem since evolution. Those who saw it as a problem and did nothing about it rationalized that we really didn’t need to fly and so came up with alternative means of transportation. The Wright brothers on the other hand viewed the inability to fly as a problem deserving an appropriate solution. Their aircraft crude as it may have been pioneered the aircraft industry later. The hot air balloon and the drones are also examples of how solution centric answers can become very effective.

We need to watch out for three impediments that could take away our focus from being solution centric

Fear of the problem – It is true that every problem comes with its share of anxiety. When we let this anxiety overtake our rationality we remain problem centric. Our anxiety increases with the passing of time and no acceptable solution visible on the horizon. On the other hand if we analyze the problem dispassionately, we would be able to appreciate the varied dimensions of the problem and perhaps even see various alternative solutions peeping from some corners. Pick up a newspaper and try to solve the crosswords or Sudoku problem in it.

Distraction due to anxietyBefore you attempt the above keep a personal time limit to solve the problem. Notice how you get more tense, distracted and frustrated that the time is running out. Your attention is now drawn towards the deadline rather than the problem itself. This distraction will take away your concentration. On the other hand if you focus on finding solutions you will get at least some answers by the time the deadline approaches.

Urge to disown the problem – Very often we just want to somehow get rid of the problem. If possible we try to pass it on to others. If not we try to find excuses for the problem still being there. Very often we try to find someone to blame for the problem. This urge to get rid of the problem, to disown the problem, to pass the buck is our way of escapism. It neither helps in getting a solution nor does it ease our anxiety for the problem persists.

Watch out for the above and immediately change your thinking to finding a solution and keep seeking alternate solutions till you have ample alternatives to choose the best one. Yes problems often come with many many solutions. Keep searching for the best one.

Try this:

Click on this link to get an idea of how to FOCUS

You are given a barometer and asked to measure the height of a building. Think of 3 possible solutions to the problem. (Having a science inclination would help but oh yes every one can attempt it)

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