When we face a problem, most people I know often think it to death- in other words worry. I guess many believe worry will produce an answer or not thinking about it is not taking it seriously. Possibly.
I also admit to being guilty of thinking things to death. It is a habit I am trying to break as some of the best answers in my life have come when I have stopped mulling over the situation.
This most frequently happens when I misplace something important. I keep thinking and imagining in my head the scenery of where I was when I had it last and where I could have possibly put it. And then after thinking about it, going to the places I think it is and physically and exhaustively searching those places. Most of the time I come up empty handed. However, if I totally stop thinking about it, and come back a few hours or days later, and after I have invariably felt the need to tell someone that it is lost, I find it. I suddenly feel like I have won the lottery! But, I think, why did I miss it when I tore the place apart just a few hours/days ago? Usually, I realize the reason I did not see it is because I was worrying/thinking about the fact it was missing so much that even if it was there, in my hand, and my eyes were looking at it- my mind was in denial. I had gone into the treasure hunt with the mindset that it is lost and worried so much I would never find it, that I made that fear become reality.
Finding lost material items is one thing, but what about finding an answer to a problem. These types of finds are not tangible, but if you find the solution, what a joy it is! A recent situation comes to mind. Someone approached me saying they needed help in how to approach a certain person with concerns, as they felt the person was ignoring them. For an approach to be successful in our eyes this person would not get defensive, would not change the subject or ignore requests, but answer them and would participate in a two-way conversation. I was scheduled to meet this person on a particular day. However, due to certain circumstances, I had to cancel the meeting. I told this person if she needed to talk to me, I could be contacted by phone. So, she called me, and we talked. After ten minutes on the phone, I thought, “Wow! She’s talking with me and participating in conversation with me! We are exchanging ideas, not stopping short on each other!” So, I used this opportunity to ask her about the concerns I had before that went unanswered. She addressed all concerns I posed to her directly and indirectly over the phone! I wondered why? Why can she answer so freely on the phone, but not in person? Maybe it is the face to face meeting that is a problem. When you meet face to face, you have to look at each other, possibly make eye contact, and there may seem to be more room for defensiveness, especially when questions are asked about follow through.
So this was the answer to my question- is there another way to approach this person? Yes, try to set up a phone conversation to talk about issues. For me, I am not always able to do this, I have to meet this person face to face, but for the person who requested another idea, it may work as that person does not necessarily have to meet her face to face.
In both of these examples and many others, I won’t quote, else I could go on forever, I continuously realize that forgetting the problem for a short time and letting the forces of nature (so to speak) work on a solution, seems so natural, effortless and produces much more practical solutions than the solutions I get from worrying and stressing out about it. Next time you face a problem, try this approach, and see if it works!