Be a problem solver, not a problem adder

October 20, 2022

One piece missing from a almost completed puzzle.

This is from James Clear’s weekly 3..2..1 email. I read his book, Atomic Habits several years ago.

“One type of person approaches a situation with the mindset of, “How can I make this work?”

Another type seems to approach each circumstance with the mindset of, “What are all the reasons this wouldn’t work?”

Both people will be forced to deal with reality, but the first person will only have to solve problems that actually occur while the second person will often avoid taking action entirely because of the potential problems they have dreamt up before starting.

There will always be reasons to not do something. Be a problem solver, not a problem adder.

This wisdom fits well with one of my team’s values of “choose optimism and ID solutions”.

I confess that I am naturally the second type of person (I am naturally a pessimist). This is a challenge for me to develop the “how can I make this work” mindset and have that be my initial response when problems/situations come up. Especially since there is so much that is out of my control.

There are many times that I exercise the “how can I make it work” mindset. But I usually have to overcome the initial inclination to look at things from a more negative perspective. It is something that I have to work on and be conscious of.

My wife is reading a book right now, “It is what you make of it.” It is challenging the “it is what it is” mindset, which is somewhat similar to the idea of James Clear. We have a choice in how we respond to the situations/circumstances in our life. I want my life to be more and more characterized by “how can I make this work” and “it is what I make of it.”

The phrase, “it is what it is” drives my wife crazy. She hates it. Much like I hate, “now more than ever.”

Comments are closed.