When I saw this quote, I immediately wondered if perhaps, that is the definition of “smart” – staying with the problem until the answer is found. Maybe many of us who “look smart” don’t necessarily grasp things more quickly, or have a natural knack, but have persistence and perseverance. I love that Einstein, one of the greatest minds of all time, was the one credited with this statement.
Although I am far from Einstein, I could relate to this quote. Many people have asked how I have overcome certain obstacles or created certain processes. It certainly wasn’t a stroke of genius or brilliance or a light bulb flash above my head. But it was “staying with the problem longer.” I know inherently that every problem must have a solution. Our commitment to discovering that solution is what makes the difference.
As we learn to problem solve, our problem-solving skills develop and become stronger. The only thought-pattern required to implementing positive problem-solving skills in your own life is a curious mind and the belief that each problem must have a solution.
Work on increasing your problem-solving skills. Instead of shrinking away from a challenge or problem, realize that each challenge or problem does have a solution – become a detective with the aim of uncovering it. Some solutions can be discovered in a day, some may take months – but the solutions are there. Try writing down a problem you are facing. Then ask yourself questions to begin exploring solutions. Some questions you might try include: How did this problem come into being? Who do I know that might be able to give me ideas or strategies for solving this problem? What would the answer/solution look like? What steps are needed to get that answer or solution? What role did I play in the creation of this problem and if I reversed my actions/thought patterns, would that impact a solution? What are 5 crazy solutions I can dream up? (Brainstorming quick lists –no matter how outrageous– helps us become creative in our approach and solution focused).
For every challenge or problem, I know there is a solution. I also know that I can find it.