Dec 282011

The future is bright.

The Future Is Bright.  Focus On Solutions.

Despite all the gloom and doom we constantly hear in the daily news, the future is bright.

Regardless of what we may believe about global politics, national politics, local politics and struggling economies on all geographic scales, it is of little use to focus on gloom and doom.

What I learned at a young age, by virtue of some great mentors and just paying attention to what was going on in the world, is that no matter how horribly the media and my fellow human beings paint the scenario, it is hardly ever that bad for someone who is willing and able to be resourceful.

At the end of the day, even if, for example, some other country is going to take over as the dominant global economic and political powerhouse, or some competitive multinational business is coming into our neighborhood, what good does it do for us to freeze up in fear?  This is not useful.  Freezing up gets you nowhere.  The question is: what action are you going to take to mitigate the risk or to move in another direction?

I have found that those who are constantly talking about problems or potential problems, most likely are not doing anything about them.  Somehow they find it safer and more comforting to commiserate with other people who are doing the same thing, rather than spending their energy assessing their options and taking action.  This mindset defect applies to countries, to companies, to non-profit organizations, to individuals, even collectively to the human race.

Here are some simple steps for avoiding paralysis due to the fear and uncertainty caused by problems you may not completely understand.

Step 1:  Understand the problem as best you can.

Note that I said “as best you can”.  Don’t analyze the problem to the nano-detail, unless it’s a problem that requires that kind of precision.

Step 2:  Determine the magnitude of the problem.

Figure out whether the problem is “life-threatening” or something relatively minor.  It amazes me how often I see people fretting over problems that cannot have any major impact on them and ignoring those which can have significant consequences.

Step 3:  Focus on solutions.

Once you’ve figured out the magnitude of the problem, don’t obsess over it; just focus on solutions.  As soon as you understand what the problem is about, unless it’s highly dynamic, it makes no sense to pay further close attention to it; rather, you should move to focusing your energy on potential solutions.

Step 4:  Take action.

Once you have determined potential solutions, it’s time to take action.  Don’t fall victim of paralysis by analysis.  In the beginning of the process, the enemies were fear and uncertainty.  The enemy now is over-analysis, which itself is largely a result of fear and uncertainty.  Now is not the time for further analysis; it is time to take action and pay close attention to the results your actions are achieving.

Step 5:  Continually adjust your actions based on the results you achieve.

If you are paying attention, you will receive feedback on the results of your actions.  Based on this feedback you should continue to adjust your actions until the problem is successfully mitigated or completely solved.  The key here is not to stop until you get the result you are seeking.  Perseverance plays a key role in overcoming all difficult challenges.

The future is bright, as long as you don’t get caught up in focusing on gloom and doom and problems.  Take all information into account, but make sure that your focus is on finding potential solutions, taking action, and adjusting your actions based on the feedback you receive.  Then, don’t stop until you reach your objective.

I look forward to your thoughts and questions.  Please leave a comment (“response”) below or in the upper right corner of this post.

Paul Morin

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  • Awesome, upbeat post. Great timing, too, for some many people are negative around the holidays. Solutions go hand in hand with some New Year’s Resolutions!

  • Great post and a great reminder for those of us with a bent for the anal and the analytical to remember to take action rather than simply thinking action!

  • Dawn

    Great post! Some of us really need to hear the positives in the “doom and gloom”. I personally agree with all you said so kudos for taking a positive perspective and encouraging us.

  • Great post & I couldn’t agree more!

    I’ve created a great life for myself by focusing on solutions and remaining adaptable throughout my life and my career. I’ve had more than my share of struggle, including poverty, divorce, and illness.

    Each of these caused great pain and strife, and when dealing with each I reached a point where I made a choice to try something different, as fearful as I felt in taking a risk.

    The truth is things were already pretty bad so what else did I really have to loose? It turns out I had far more to gain than I did to loose, and I have survived and thrived time and again. It might not be comfortable or easy, but it is possible!

    You’ve outlined great steps to overcome hardship and take positive and production action for your future.


  • Pingback: The Future Is Bright. Focus On Solutions. | SteveB's Economy Scoops |

  • Great post, Paul, and I agree. It’s easy to freeze up in fear when you know you need to adjust your strategies for life and business. As they say, there is nothing as constant as change. Those who truly succeed recognize this and continually monitor and adjust their approach, whether it’s a new marketing method, or a revised job search strategy. If your current efforts aren’t paying off, or you have that doom and gloom feeling, it’s time to take the steps you describe. If nothing else, it definitely re-energizes you to switch it up!

  • Hi Paul, great post. You’re right about there being zero benefit to dwelling on problems without thinking about solutions. The world is full of negative news. There are times that I am watching the news when I just need to switch it off and go do something else. The news keeps us in a constant state of panic and distracts us from the big picture: that we have countless opportunities every day to make things better in our lives and in the world. While others are getting caught up in the problem, what are you doing to mitigate losses and maybe even turn the problem into a business opportunity? Keep up the good work,

  • Liked the simplicity of Focus on Solutions, Future is Bright.
    Shared via Twitter and Linked In.

  • Stacy

    The future is bright, as long as you don’t get caught up in focusing on gloom and doom and problems. Take all information into account, but make sure that your focus is on finding potential solutions, taking action, and adjusting your actions based on the feedback you receive.

  • Good post Paul @companyfounder , and something we all need to be reminded of. Number 3 and 4 are the real key, many do 1 and 2 and then nothing or they repeat 1 and 2 over and over again. My passion has always been number 3. I have taught myself to get better at number 4. Nice post Paul

  • Krissy

    I often spend hours doing steps 1 2 and 3 but I seem to find moving to 4 a problem, I dont know why. I think fear of failure after 1 2 and 3 might put me off starting 4 as that is the only time results can be measured so its the only time that you could actually “fail” as such.

  • Thank you for writing this post. Reading made me think about my present behavior and whether I’m one of those who only talk about problems but don’t take action. I think I’m neither. I sometimes have problems but I don’t talk about them, and when I do, it is usually at the level when I already started taking some action towards solving it. But this post, and the clear steps one needs to take in order to solve any problems, was enlightening. When someone gives you even the slightest guideline for how to take care of something, it makes it so much easier. I don’t feel that stressful, anxiousness I usually feel when I think about an unsolved problem in my life. Of course, I will feel the butterflies at the moment when I am doing something about it, but at least I will get to that point and not back out before even trying.
    Best regards, Leonard

  • Thanks, Leonard. I’m glad you found the article helpful.

  • Thanks, Ross. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It’s good to connect with you on Twitter as well. Paul

  • That’s exactly right, Stacy. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  • Astrid Sanschagrin

    Fear seems the usual feeling that people faces so they struggle with the problem. It is true that they should first understand the problem and know how big is the problem. In that way, they could be able to come up with the solution step-by-step. Maybe I should apply this since I also need perseverance and diligence in my work. Thanks for the insights.