In the movement to "DO" in our lives, i.e., to get out and create action, we often encounter stumbling blocks. Some we cannot do anything about, they just exist. We push on and keep moving to get past them - THAT is what ultimately makes us great.
But many of the challenges we face are simple and basic - and which we tend to blow out of proportion. The French philosopher Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, wrote in the 1500's, "My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened."
We worry, or we get caught up feeling inadequate or we just stall in place - paralyzed by what we see as insurmountable problems. But the truth is, we come equipped, for the most part, with the intelligence and the tools to do most anything we desire. What is needed, then, is a fingertip method to keep us moving past those "stalling moments" which paralyze it.
SO here is my favorite technique to keep from getting bogged down in problems. It is based in the balance between personal power and having none. When a person acts from personal power they see things for what they really are and they take action. They don't bog down in emotions, or trying to find reasons why something CAN'T work.
Power Position Solutions
+ Step One: Dream
This is the first step towards using power to control your outcomes. So if you want to DO something, Step One is to first ask yourself:
"If this situation were to turn out the way I want, what would it look like?"
Then, spend a moment or two imagining the OUTCOME you want.
But don't spend too much time at this dream phase. While it is sometimes comforting, dreaming is ineffective in itself.
But a dream that becomes vision is the first first step towards seeing a problem for what it really is. After all, you can't hope for change if you don't see the need for it!
+ Step Two: Acknowledge Reality
Okay, now you're getting somewhere! In Step Two, you must acknowledge reality. You are not an ostrich hiding your head in the sand - you are a human being, trying to make something happen!
So, in Step Two, stop and SAY out loud:
"This is the reality of the situation. These are the problems I face, the needs I have and the help I need if I am to achieve what I set before me."
Actually say this aloud to yourself, don't cheat and mutter it under your breath. If you need to go somewhere private to do so, then go ahead.
Don't hide from these things; don't be afraid to write them all down. The person who says, "It is, what it is," is far closer to doing something than one who only complains. Once you acknowledge the reality of your situation, you'll find that YOU begin to change for the better. Once that happens, you are primed to affect your own outcome.
+ Step Three: Find Solutions
This is where it all leads - ACTION. The other things are important but they only shine a light on an issue or problem. In themselves, they do nothing but illuminate what you must DO.
Step Three - Write down all possible solutions
Notice, saying them aloud isn't enough. Now you must write these things down. This is called 'brainstorming' and it is where you face ALL possible solutions... not just the ones you like.
Some solutions may be hard or require things you do not currently have, so you must work to make them happen. Often these are the right solutions, even if not the easiest. So you must write down your options and evaluate them on their own merit. DO not be afraid to enlist the aid of someone else, either. They may see things you don't.
But, once you accept and adopt solutions, you change the situation for good. It is no longer what it was - this is where opportunity opens up for you. So put the solutions you decide upon into action.
+ Step Four Get On With It.
This is the ultimate point of all this... to move forward. SO Step Four is to move on from the problem.
Once you have acted on your solutions, you can step forward. Perhaps it will take some more planning to get the actions well along. Or maybe you need some more resources or tools. That's okay, it;s al part of the solution. I will talk mre in a future post about the ways to put solutions into effect.
But remember, the final goal here is to place your problems on the "To Monitor" list.
This means they no longer absorb your energy and worry, but only require occasional input and minor effort to keep going forward.
As Winston Churchill said, "To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
Of course, there is nothing to force you to use the Power Position Solutions.
So what happens if you don't?
Well, every Power has its powerless opposite. While Power Position Solutions give you good reasons for what you do, the Powerless Position leaves you with little more than excuses. Simply put, nothing changes and you get nowhere. But, hey... at least you'll have plenty of arguments why.
+ Wait and hope
Waiting an hoping is the first step to failing. Sadly, too many people think it is a solution by itself. While hope often gives temporary comfort, waiting is ineffective in itself. It also tends to place the results outside the individual.
That is, if things go good, it is because someone or something else did it, since all you did was wait and hope. If things go badly, well, then the same thing applies.
+ "I can't" - These two words are responsible for more frustration that any other. Once you begin uttering, "I can't..." phrases, you soon develop excuses as to WHY you can't. Before long, you convince yourself of your own inadequacy and develop elaborate rationale to back it up. All this emotional investment has it's own reward, since before long you are convinced that you cannot.
"Whether you believe you can, or you can't... you are right" - - Henry Ford
+ Blaming others - Once you convince yourself that you cannot... you then find others who are part of your downward spiral. Either they caused your failure or they are holding you back. This can be anyone, from your family to the President, even Society at large. But normally there is a face associated with this blame.
Regardless, once you've come this far, there is always someone else who is at fault besides YOU. Rather than acknowledging reality and searching for solutions, it is easier to put the blame on others.
+ Unaware/Unconscious - This is the ultimate Powerless Position. We call it denial, these days. You push the situation so far back in your mind and camouflage it in such a tangled web of blame and self pity that it is finally subverted. In the end, you turn your back on the problem and try to live as if it didn't exist.
So as you move to DO and accomplish things in your life, remember that it is Power that gets you there. Try the four steps of Power Solutions and see if they don't kick start your efforts to GO, DO and BECOME!.