Why problem-solving doesn't work, and how creating does

by Annelise Mitchell February 21, 2017

Why problem-solving doesn't work, and how creating does

When we have a problem, we try to solve it, but we find more often than not that we end up with the same problem.

This is normal and inevitable and it is in no way due to our “faulty problem-solving skills.”

We find it hard to solve our problems because our thought processes (i.e. our beliefs and assumptions) that created the problem in the first place remain the same. We may try to change our behaviour but sooner or later we are repeating the same old patterns.

Let’s say you decide you need to lose weight. You embark on an exercise regime and you quickly lose 5 kilos. You drop a dress size and you feel better. But because the problem is now not as urgent as before, you have less motivation to continue. You start to even revert back to old patterns of behaviour, eventually regaining the weight. But you feel defeated and you’re again struggling with the same issue.

The following poster illustrates a common scenario and reveals the problems with problem-solving our way to a solution.

Why problem-solving doesn't work by Robert Fritz

Regardless of your problem, the problem remains and sometimes even intensifies.

This is why a problem-solving approach to life does not work. Once the intensity of the problem has lessened, we have less and less motivation to solve the problem.

This is counter to what you were taught at school or university. You’re taught to problem-solve or even “brainstorm” your way to a solution.

But, problem-solving leads to less and less action as the actions work to solve the problem. This is why most people who have tried to adopt a problem-solving approach give up. It is not because they are weak or lack willpower.

If problem-solving doesn’t work, then what does?

Becoming a creator, not a problem-solver.

Creators don’t problem-solve, they create what they want to see happen in the long run.

A creator will look at the situation of losing weight with a different lens. He or she would ask, “What result do I want to create in my life?”

They may say, “I want a healthy body.”

To the creator, the object of focus then becomes creating a healthy body. This means that everything he or she does will help them create that result. Not only exercising or eating less, but also taking the stairs instead of the escalators at the shopping centre, or making a salad with heaps of reds, purples and greens instead of eating takeaway.

Because everything they do is directed towards their ultimate goal – to be healthy - they start to live and breathe healthy.

In fact, they even gather momentum, with each step bringing them towards being healthier.

When compared to the person who is focused on the problem of losing weight, the creator is focused on what result they want to create in the end – being healthy and enjoying life.

Rather than ask, “How do I solve this problem?” the creator asks, “What results do I want to create?”

How is it that we don’t know this?

When we’re growing up, the education system doesn’t teach us to create what we want in our life. Its primary aim is to teach us skills so that we can cope in society. To do this, we learn how to either respond to life's challenges "appropriately" or choose the correct response to our problems.

Side note: Those of us who respond really well get top grades and positions set by those in authority. Those of us who don’t will be encouraged to learn new and more sophisticated skills to handle the challenges of life. Education is seen as a success when you respond in the “right” way, making you compliant and obedient.

Traditional education moves from something that allegedly frees you to making you into a person who wants to fit in and stay out of trouble. It teaches you how to respond to life as if the circumstances are dominant, and all you need to do is figure out how to navigate “appropriately” through these challenges.

Our dominant medical model also advocates a problem-solving approach. It does not focus on creating health, only eradicating disease. When you are overweight, most doctors will look at how to fix the problem, not how to create a lifestyle where you no longer have the problem.

With these types of frameworks dominant in society, you did not learn how to create the life you wanted, only the life you wanted to avoid. Click here for a poster on what we learn at school and what we really need to learn.

Your goal is to consistently create what matters most to you.

The steps to the creating the results you want are:

1. Imagine or envision the end result you want to create.

“What result do I want to create?”

2. Look at your current reality – what is happening and what do you need to learn and do to take steps towards what you want to create.

“What is my current reality?”

3. Take action to bring your creation into being, learning and adjusting as you go along.

“I choose to have health.”

4. Create momentum – over time, as you start creating what you want, the experience and knowledge you gather increases your ability to bring your creation into being.

“I did it before, I can do it again.”

When you focus on what you want in life you will put in the action steps that are necessary for living the life you want. You’ll choose health, rather than just trying to lose weight. You’ll create what you want, rather than just solving problems.

The following poster illustrates the process of creating what you want from a bird's perspective. :)

Creating what you want by Robert Fritz

Annelise Mitchell
Annelise Mitchell


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