Problem solving is something we learn when we are young children and as we get older it seems to leave us. Problem solving is an actual skill that doesn’t come as easy as it sounds. Your ability to sift through an issue to find the right solution isn’t always black and white. Being good at solving problems is not only good for fixing things around the house, but it helps with fixing relationships. In fitness, problem solving helps with getting you closer towards your goals since progress isn’t as linear as we would like. I actually talked to our coaching staff about this theme recently as part of our jobs are to help solve (fitness and health) problems.
Believe it or not most people are NOT good problem solvers. When faced with an issue we can respond impulsively, give an emotional response, become close minded or just simply freakout. Often times this ends up being an argument of some sort and we are just trying to prove each other wrong. Proving someone wrong does not fix a problem (though it seems to be the theme lately in society). So how can we problem solve to not only fix a tire but to fix a relationship, your fitness or really anything that pops up?
Something that has become one of the best things I have done to become a better problem solver was to change how I view problems in general. One of the best pieces of advice I have gotten was when I was a young adult (about 23) from one of the father’s of a wrestler I was coaching. We needed to rent a few vans to take my club wrestling team up to Lake Placid for a wrestling tournament and the rental car company was all out of vans. I was frantic as we had paid for hotels, tournament fees etc. As I was freaking out he said to me, “There are no problems, only solutions.” Long story short, we ended up finding some vans last minute, everything worked out and those words truly changed my life. From that point forward, I never viewed any difficult situation as a problem. I now only believed in solutions.
So changing my mindset to only believing in solutions has really changed how I’ve dealt with a lot of difficult situations. Because of this mindset I’ve been called overly optimistic and positive. It probably sounds like I am just blowing smoke up someone’s ass from time to time, but it truly is a large part of who I am. So if you are in a weight-loss rut or you can’t get passed a squat number or you might be in disagreement with a friend, remember to be thoughtful and take the time to figure out a solution.