Solution Focused 397

Solution Focused

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Opportunities are problems in search of solutions
-Denis Waitley

Right before I started college, I opened a bank account. I thought I understood the importance of accurately adding deposits and subtracting withdraws from my account. But I didn’t really learn that lesson until I bounced a check. (I don’t recommend ever doing that!)

I was in a panic over the bounced check, and spent the entire afternoon frantically worrying about what to do. I fretted and stewed about it, and then called my mom (who conveniently worked at the bank). She offered to help me by making a deposit into my account so that I wouldn’t bounce any more checks that I had written (thanks, Mom!). I learned the hard way about balancing my checkbook, but there was a bigger lesson I learned that day. I remember my mom sharing with me a sentiment something like this: “You’ve spent your entire afternoon worrying and stressing about this, but you didn’t DO anything to change the situation until you called me for help. If all you do is worry when there’s a problem, all you’ll have at the end of the day is the same problem and a whole lot of wasted time.” It’s a lesson I’ve hearkened back to many times over the years.

There is a difference between worrying about a problem and strategizing to address the problem. When we worry about a problem, we can spin the same concern over and over again in our heads and not really come up with a way to do anything to address the concern. It can cause anxiety and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.

But when we instead strategize about the problem we are addressing, and discern which pieces of the problem we can influence or control, we move into solution mode. Once we do that, we can move forward in a productive manner.

As an example, I’ve seen THON putting this concept into practice so many times this year. They've accepted the fact that they can't be in-person for their annual event, and instead they created opportunities to engage students and donors and the community in an online event. As we approach the newly-virtual THON weekend, I’m reminded and inspired by how they chose to focus on what they can do, instead of what they can’t do. It enabled them to move past worry and into strategizing to create a new and different solution for THON this year.

What are the challenges or limitations you’re worried about? Can you flip how you’re looking at those challenges to consider how you can strategize and problem solve instead? Can you share what you have learned with your team to benefit Four Diamonds?
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Blog Moving Forward with Purpose 02/04/2021 8:04pm EST
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