A boss of mine, many years ago, said to someone, “I don’t want to hear about problems, I want to hear about solutions”.
I remember at the time this wasn’t well received by his staff. Some felt he didn’t care what was going wrong, others felt it was his job.
For some reason this phrase always stayed in the back of my mind…up until now.
Now I understand this gem of advice and how, subconsciously, I have been applying it to my life in the past few months and with good results.
Since I have started this quest to discover myself, and develop what needs to be, I have looked at “problems” (I don’t call them problems anymore, rather challenges) that may arise via the solution angle.
Luckily, I haven’t encountered many such challenges since, but you could say the news of being put on notice at work might qualify perfectly.
How I dealt with it? “Ok, what options could there be to get out of this uncertain situation?…Look for a job? Ok, let’s look for a job.” And, as you will have read in my previous entry, there was a very successful outcome.
Last night whilst reading a new book, a thought popped into my mind out of the blue that I really needed to look into my mortgage situation.
Currently only paying the interest on my mortgage, I suddenly realised the term was diminishing each year that passes and eventually I would need to pay back the whole lot if I carried on paying only the interest, which I have now been doing for 6 years.
I was anxious for a little while: how am I going to repay such a debt? Would I be able to afford a different (repayment) mortgage, would I be eligible even? Would that mean I would lose the spare cash that has been so handy funding my fun these past few months? Would I need to move to a smaller house? Could I even find anything decent for so little money? And on and on for a little while.
Then I decided to look for some solutions.
Eventually I found that remortgaging my house with a repayment mortgage was the best option, plus it would only add about £100 more to my current monthly payments, which I can easily afford and I should be eligible to get a few months in my new job. I could even push myself a bit and reduce the term of my mortgage and thus pay my mortgage off early, if I could spare another £100 a month, which should be feasible, although I can always get a mortgage with the possibility of overpayments so I don’t need to commit to a higher mortgage straight off.
From thinking I would have to sell my house and nowhere I could afford to move to, to finding out I might be able to pay the mortgage off earlier, all by looking for solutions rather than just thinking about the problem.
This morning I had the realisation this was how I have been dealing with challenges of late. A couple of examples:
I was having problems remembering my diabetic medication (I was never good at remembering to take pills, hence why I stopped the pill years ago) so I looked for a solution and soon found a medication reminder app that fitted my needs perfectly.
During my daily Elevate routine (Brain training app I use), I realised I was failing the maths exercises because I didn’t know my timetables by heart. Solution: learn it. So I looked up the best way to learn the full timetables and downloaded a flash card app, created the flashcards I needed and now learning it.
This morning whilst browsing Facebook newsfeed, I realised that I didn’t want to hear about problems anymore, only (possible) solutions.
Seeing posts about recent events in Paris and the refugees situation which has cropped up again, in the US this time, made me realise how tired I am hearing of the problems, I want to hear about solutions. Maybe ultimately this is why I got tired of Facebook. It’s all about exposing problems, never about coming up with solutions.
That boss was damn right. I too don’t want to hear about problems, only solutions.