Day 434: How to Create Better Solutions

When faced with a problem, an issue, a difficulty, a tendency that I have noticed within myself, is that in the effort to correct/change this point, I will use positive, strong and abstract words. An example would be the following: I see that I tend to get angry at my partner for not picking up the dishtowel and placing it where I think it should be. I decide to correct this point and create the following correction: “I will love my partner and respect her even though she wants to do things differently in the kitchen”. Hence, a positive, yet, vague and abstract sentence. Now, what I have come to realize, is that this is a problem.

What is problematic with these types of corrections is that they do not offer a concrete, direct and immediate solution – there is not a set guideline for what to do when the pattern arise – and because of that it is very easy to fall back into old behaviors. Because what does it really mean to ‘love’ my partner in this context? Should I remain quiet? Should I go and give my partner a kiss? Should I look at my partner lovingly and then proceed to simply change the positioning of the dishtowel myself? And what does it mean to respect that my partner wants to do things differently in the kitchen in this particular situation? Should I then respect it, however, still be angry about it?

Vague words creates uncertainty and indecisiveness in the moment of correction, because we do not have a clear image/vision of what we are going to create. In the world system, this mistake can be found in my places. One example is human rights. They do sound lovely; we should respect everyone, and each person is born free and with the same rights as everyone else. Though in practical terms, what do these beautiful words mean? Should everyone then have the same salary? What does it really mean? And because there is no clear and precise structure placed through the words – what happens is… nothing. Since the implementation of Human Rights, next to nothing has happened – and partially – that is because there has not been a structural and specifically defined way forward.

What is important to think about when creating a correction/solution for oneself?

There are a few guidelines that I use when I define a solution for myself – and these I have found to consistently support me to define effective and empowering corrections. Firstly, I make sure that the correction is GROUNDED, and with that I mean that the solution is a physical or mental movement that can be easily understood and acted upon. An example would be, to take a deep breath. That is simple, easy to understand and practical solution. I know how to take a deep breath every day.

Secondly, I make the solution EASY. There is no point in designing/imagining a long and complex set of movements or words that I am to speak, because later in the day, I will forget it anyway. Hence, I have realized that I need something that sticks. I need a catchy solution, a bit like a song that sticks on my brain. One solution I had, when I practiced structure and following through on plans, was to each time I noticed that I wanted to veer and digress from what I was doing, to say: ‘No, focus’ – and then I turned my attention back to the project I was doing.

Thirdly, I push myself to have the solution be SPECIFIC. The solution should be complete and finished, precise, in what I am supposed to do, when and how – when the moment comes and the correction must be applied – there should not be anything more to consider – but simply to apply.

Thus, GROUNDED, EASY and SPECIFIC, these are three guidelines I use when creating and defining solutions for myself, and they have assisted and supported me a lot in defining supportive ways for me to live and correct inefficient living patterns.


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