“This is the mark of perfection of character—to spend each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, laziness, or any pretending.” – Marcus Aurelius
The manner in which we turn problems into solutions will largely reflect on our capacity to think creatively. There is an endless array of problems if you think about it. Some of which are better left alone, others that are unsolvable or have yet to become known or created, and there are even those which require years of teamwork in order to make heads and tails of. For an individual to address all the kinds of problems and/or fallacies that exist in the world would be rather problematic and time consuming to say the least. Therefore it may be practical to initially deal with the things that are within our control.
Perhaps some of you have heard of the 80/20 rule, which has to do with focusing more on the solution rather than the problem. This can be a great method for situations in which it is useful, but it can’t be applied in all circumstances. Neither can we apply universal principles to all particular events and have everything work out for the best. In other words, acknowledging the limitations of our knowledge could very well be the first step to transforming our problems into solutions.
Perhaps if we stop to reflect upon what we don’t know before we jump at the goal to eradicate a problem, then we may be able to better orient ourselves. What we perceive to be the problem may not actually be a problem. For instance, many of us would agree that suffering is difficult to bear, and that we should work to alleviate it, but what if suffering is as necessary as the air we breathe; what might happen if we started to embrace suffering instead of trying to avoid it.
Another example of how we might be misdiagnosing a problem: What if the increase of natural disasters is actually a solution to our global crises. This kind of thinking may help us stretch our imagination to reveal possibilities that may not otherwise appear should we hold tightly to its contrary view. Turning problems into solutions is not just an attitude adjustment, but may very well open our minds to a paradigm shift, one in which is beneficial and necessary, if we are to effectively deal with life’s ongoing challenges.