How do I become a problem solver?



Do you believe that most complex problems do have a solution? Can you count “How many times you played a role of problem solver rather than a problem maker? Typically, when we face problems, most of the people choice would be thinking too much about the problem instead of figuring out a solution. What’s your choice? Do you want to be a problem solver or problem maker? If you are part of the problem, then your motivation depletes. If you march towards solution then your motivation soars always higher. As they say, You are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem.” 

I’m sure, if you look at any problem irrespective of its complexity from resolution standpoint then solution is the only outcome. If you ask me the best way to escape from your problem is to solve it.

Here is an interesting story of a smart young lady reveals the secret How to untie the knot when you encounter complex problems in life. 

Many years ago, in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer’s beautiful daughter. So he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the
farmer’s debt if he could marry his daughter.

Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. Then the girl would have to
pick one pebble from the bag.

  • If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father’s debt would be forgiven
  • If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father’s debt would still be forgiven
  • But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer’s field. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick a pebble from the bag.

Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her?

Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

  • The girl should refuse to take a pebble
  • The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the money-lender as a cheat
  • The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.

 Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking. The girl’s dilemma cannot be solved with traditional logical thinking. Think of the consequences if she chooses the above logical answers.

What would you recommend to the Girl to do?  Well, here is what she did….

The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles. “Oh, how clumsy of me,” she said. “But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.”

Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the money-lender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.

This reminds me of the great insight by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam that “We shouldn’t give up and we shouldn’t allow the problem to defeat us.”  Perseverance is the key when you are dealing with complex problems. Therefore, have patience if you want to fix it.

Related: Perseverance is the key to success

So, know that your common-sense is a reservoir of timeless wisdom. Nonetheless, you should try to make use of it to untie the knots when you face complex problems in life. Bear always in your mind that “A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” This will not only make you a problem solver but also keeps your motivation at it peaks to lead remarkable life.


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