Problems. We’ve all got them.
And many of us lack a structured approach to solving them effectively.
Today, I’d like to present a problem-solving framework for your consideration—a discovery I made while creating The Master’s Course for Break & Untangle.
In my book, I explored three major Mindsets: Self Mindsets (related to “me/I”), Strategy Mindsets (related to “it”), and Social Mindsets (related to “us/we”).
Every problem we encounter in life can be categorized as one of these Mindsets. Some examples:
- Feelings of low self-worth fall under the Self Mindset (I/me).
- Debt is a problem within the Strategic Mindset (it).
- Fighting with your significant other resides in the Social Mindset (us/we).
Here’s the core of the problem-solving framework: the solution to a problem cannot be found at the same level on which that problem was discovered.
Consider this, thinking more about low self-worth won’t solve it; continuing existing spending habits won’t erase debt, and persistent fighting won’t resolve conflicts with your partner.
While this may seem obvious, true magic happens when we realize that the problem must be shifted to a new level for resolution.
If you and I were in a coaching discussion, here’s how I would put this framework into practice (which you can also practice on your own):
- As your coach, we would explore with you how you derive self-worth. This exploration could lead us to discover whether it’s linked to money (strategic mindset) or relationships (social mindset).
- Addressing the problem of debt would involve examining the behaviors driving your spending habits. We might find that these habits stem from unmet emotional needs (self mindset) or are influenced by specific relationships, like family or employer dynamics (social mindsets).
- In addressing fights with your spouse, we would delve into the underlying themes of these conflicts, maybe that’s something like distribution of household chores (strategic mindset) or difficulties expressing your emotions (self mindset).
By examining the existing problem from a different mindset level, we open up a path toward either resolving or dissolving that problem.
Put in the simplest terms I could come up with:
- You can’t out-think yourself.
- Mindless action creates chaos.
- We bring what creates a relationship.
This week: Take a problem and put it through this framework. Consider how you might move an old problem to a new level.
BONUS: Problems are just goals in disguise. This same framework will work when thinking about how to achieve your goals. Give it a try.