I don’t mind that life is packed full of problems – it’s part of what makes it interesting. If there were no problems, life would be like a football game with no opposition – fun for a while but then quickly boring. We actually want obstacles and opposition.
But when problems show up, we get to see how people respond. It can be interesting. In business, for example, problems show themselves on a daily basis and we’re expected to bring some leadership to the table and solve them. The part that’s fascinating, however, is this: whoever can best describe a problem is the person most likely to solve it.
One of the most frustrating things I know of is the experience of solving the wrong problem. It’s an incredible waste of effort, energy and resource, and without a payoff. That’s why defining the problem becomes so important.
When you face a problem, take the time to really understand it. Don’t just go with your first instincts on the solution. Muck around in it a bit to make sure you “get it.” When you do, and when you can clearly describe the actual problem to your peers, colleagues, family, etc. – that’s when you’ll be most likely to solve it.
So what? Solving problems is valuable. If you’re doing it, your contribution is valuable.