Best ways to solve any problem? Step-by-step algorithm + Video

Problems in life arise in the life of every person all the time, but, unfortunately, not everyone knows how to cope with them. There are those who prefer to stand quietly in a trench rather than a heroic battle, waiting for the enemy to leave on his own or for someone to come to their defense. This position is fundamentally wrong, and this approach to problems must be decisively combated.

Experts in human psychology know how to solve problems instead of hiding from them or waiting for someone to solve them for us. In view of the increasing general stress of modern life, psychologists are willing to share with others valuable advice on overcoming life’s difficulties. They all agree that every person should, at all costs, learn to independently solve problems that arise.

To find answers, ask better questions

Don't look for an instant solution to a problem; take the time to understand the severity of the problem. Keep redefining the problem until you find the cause. Maria Konnikova, author of The Shared Mind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, explains:

“Whenever you find yourself making a judgment immediately after an observation - in fact, even if you don’t think you are, and even if everything seems to make sense - train yourself to stop and repeat: it is impossible, how I declare this, and therefore I must in some respect declare that it is wrong. Then go back and restate it from the beginning and differently than the first time. Loud, not quiet. In writing, not in your head. This will save you from many errors in perception."

Here are some questions to help you better understand everyday problems:

1. What does the problem look like?

2. If you look closely, is the problem always the same?

3. When did you first see the problem?

4. What pattern do you notice if you look at the problem over time?

5. Where can you see the same problem but don't see it?

These questions are guidelines, not directions. Don't try to guess the solution. Try to understand how obstacles or problems appear first. Gather data to analyze all potential root causes.

Consider all options, no matter how relevant they are at the moment.

Find a way to connect the dots. Make better analogies. Leonardi da Vinci was famous for this. He studied how water moves in rivers to better understand how blood flows through our veins.

He analyzed people to understand how the layers of muscles, tissues and tendons work within our bodies. This knowledge allowed him to paint details that no other artist had considered at the time.

Dudley Malone says one good analogy is worth three hours of discussion.


If you have a problem, try to solve it. If you can't solve it, then don't make a problem out of it.

Problems, our whole life is connected with them. There's no escape from them. No matter how you try to avoid problems, no matter how you treat them, you will still encounter them from time to time. It's unavoidable. We all experience some discomfort from problems, and sometimes even fear, depending on what kind of problem we are faced with. But no matter what sensations we experience from them and no matter how we feel about them, one thing is obvious - we need to do something about them. And this does not always mean that they must be solved, it also means that you need to learn to live with some of them. Then a person will feel good, confident and even happy, regardless of what problems already exist in his life and what others will arise. In this article I will teach you how to do this. I will tell you how to look at problems, how to solve them and how to get along with them in order to feel normal and not be afraid of anything.

What is the problem

A problem is a task that has no solution. More precisely, there is a solution, but it is not known to the one who solves this problem, so it turns into a problem for him. And since our lives are full of tasks that we don’t know how to solve, we all have a great many problems. Another thing is that we do not directly encounter all of them; not all problems that we do not know how to solve, we generally need to solve. Therefore, most of the problems that exist in the world bypass us.

Also, a problem may be a person’s non-acceptance of some natural, but undesirable things for him. In other words, a problem can be anything that a person himself considers a problem for himself, not so much because he does not understand it, although that too, but because he cannot accept it. , agree with this. But here we can say that people also do not accept something because of a lack of understanding of why it is necessary and because of the inability to live with it. But people don’t know how to live with much that is in this world and therefore don’t want to. They do not accept the world holistically, with everything that is in it, therefore, in many things they do not want, they see problems that in reality do not exist. These are the kinds of problems we especially often have to deal with in psychology. It’s not that people are faced with unsolvable problems, but rather they don’t want to see any natural phenomena in life. For example, violence, which has always been and is, but which many people do not like, mainly because of the fear of it. They see violence as a problem, which is not entirely true. It is most likely impossible to live completely without violence, although it is possible and necessary to reduce its manifestation, and people have achieved some success in this direction. But it is impossible to completely abandon violence, like many other things in this life. This means that you need to accept these things, even if you work with them and on them, but you need to accept them so as not to consider them a problem for yourself. This can be considered an adaptation to this world.

Well, problems can also be subjective - this is when a particular person cannot solve a certain problem, and it turns into a problem for him, or when he sees a problem in something, without accepting something, without agreeing with something. And objective problems can be when no one or most people can solve some problem and therefore it becomes a problem for them. Or when all or most people do not accept something in life as the norm and this also becomes a problem for them. For example, the problem of death is common to many people who do not want to put up with it, consider it something bad, abnormal, undesirable, something that should be avoided and that it is better not to think about. This is an objective virtual problem that does not exist on its own; it lives in the heads of many people. And an objective real problem can be considered, for example, the problem of wars, which affect the lives of many people, making it worse. This problem is completely solvable, although it may be difficult to solve completely, but it can be dealt with to a large extent. Now let's talk about such an unusual side of this issue as the benefits that we get from all kinds of problems.

Benefit from problems

Usually people avoid problems, since they mentally and physically exhaust a person, create discomfort, and sometimes pain, both mental and physical. Therefore, people have no great desire to solve any problems. And many cannot even imagine that there is benefit from problems, almost always. It is not always the same, but it is always there. And a person should always look for this benefit when he has new problems. For people, a problem is something wrong that shouldn't be there. But in fact it should, because problems are a very significant part of this life. And the main benefit from them is maintaining a person in an awake, conscious state and strengthening his internal qualities. When I talk about the waking state, I mean the alertness and mental tension that a person uses to solve problems. If there were no problems, as something incomprehensible and undesirable, people would live in an absolutely predictable and unchanging world, which would make their life unbearably boring, and themselves extremely primitive. After all, why think about anything if you don’t have problems, you can live in a sleeping state without straining your mind at all. You can live such a life automatically, just like in a dream, when everything goes by itself, and you are a simple observer.

A problem, and even more so a big problem, is an excellent exercise for the mind and a means of strengthening character. This is exactly how it should be looked at, as a means that makes us stronger. Problems give us the necessary stress on our mind, just as physical activities provide the necessary stress on our muscles. If you lie in bed all day long and do nothing, your muscles will atrophy and you will become a completely unviable being, physically and spiritually very weak. Also with the mind, if all sorts of problems did not burden it, it would become less and less effective, until eventually it would weaken so much that a person with its help would not be able to solve even the simplest everyday problems.

The next thing where problems are useful is change. Thanks to problems, a person can begin to change his life. And some problems themselves change his life. Sometimes it is simply impossible not to change anything in yourself and in your life when you are faced with certain problems that will force you to do something new, something special that you have never done before. Life always changes, nothing in this world lasts forever. And the more resilient a person will be, the faster and more accurately he adapts to these changes. Well, you know, survival of the fittest. Here, problems, if not avoided, ignored, or feared, make us more adapted to life and, therefore, more resilient. And this is why they are very useful for us.

The only thing that is important to consider in this matter, so that problems do not harm a person, is their seriousness relative to the abilities of an individual person. Each person needs to accustom himself to solving problems in such a way as to regularly solve problems that are feasible for him, which will not lead him to a state of despair and will not break him morally. Because serious, very serious problems that a person faces, being completely unprepared for them, can psychologically suppress him, break him, after which he will only become weaker and more vulnerable to external difficulties. Here, of course, you can’t guess what blow fate will deal you, so you can prepare for it in advance. But we can all look for problems that are feasible for us and solve them regularly. Do not avoid them, do not be afraid, but look for or even select from among the existing ones in order to solve and thus strengthen your mind and your psyche, in order to be ready in the future to solve more complex problems that life can present to us at the most unexpected moment.

Other people's problems

To succeed in solving problems and become morally resilient to them, you need to try to solve not only your own, but also other people’s problems. Or even mostly other people’s problems, of which there are always plenty, because many people are ready to happily dump them on someone else. This is a great opportunity for development - solving other people's problems. Any type of activity that involves solving other people's problems always requires special mental effort from people. It’s not easy to figure out your life, it’s a much wider range of actions. And a person, thanks to such work, becomes prepared for many problems that he will be able to crack like seeds if they appear in his own life, because he has already solved them more than once. When a person deals with problems more often and learns from the example of others what it means to find himself in a particular problematic situation, for him many problems will cease to be problems, they will turn into tasks that he knows how to solve thanks to the acquired work experience with them.

The same work as a psychologist is morally difficult work. Because a specialist in this field constantly deals with other people's problems, which people dump on him in a chaotic manner. And not every person can do this business, like any other, where you have to constantly delve into the essence of other people’s problems, think about them, look for a solution for them, apply it with the help of the clients themselves, who are not always ready to follow the instructions of a specialist. There are many moments here that can mentally exhaust a specialist. That’s why not everyone is ready to do such work. People believe that they have enough of their own problems to bother themselves with other people’s problems, so they try to avoid problematic, complaining, whining people who take up a lot of energy with their complaints about life. Everyone wants to deal with those people who give energy, and do not take it away. But such work makes a specialist intellectually and psychologically stronger. Over time, his psyche will adapt to emotional and intellectual stress, and other people’s problems will no longer be as painful as his own, as they were at the very beginning, when he was just starting to deal with them. People do not understand that problems cause them discomfort and suffering not because they exist, but because people themselves are not used to them, they are not accustomed to solving them regularly.

Do this, start solving other people’s problems, and after a while you will get used to this kind of work, after which it will be much easier for you to deal with your own problems. Well, let's talk about how to work with problems below.

Problem Solving Logic

There are no problems that cannot be solved, because this would contradict the logic of the structure of the world, which clearly shows that the more we learn about it, the more problems that are initially unsolvable, and therefore are a problem for us, we can solve. Therefore, any problem is unsolvable only until we study it. Knowledge plus thinking is a means of solving problems. Both need to be constantly improved. Then it will be easier to deal with problems. They will never disappear, but for a thinking and knowledgeable person they will not be something that causes suffering.

As for the logic of solving problems, that is, the methodology for solving them, its simplified version is quite easy to understand. Problem solving begins with a gradual search for information on the unknown points of which it consists. To do this, the problem is broken down into its component parts so that it can be seen what exactly we do not know, do not understand, in each specific part of the problem, which is why it has become a problem for us. Most often, such an analysis of a problem begins with studying its history. We are looking for the moment from which the problem became a problem for us. We can go even further back to see what led to the situation, which in turn led us to the problem. And if desired, the history of all these situations can be studied in order to even better see the cause-and-effect chain that led us to the current link. But this deepening into the history of the problem, in my experience of working with various problems, is not always appropriate. Because there are a great many factors influencing the occurrence of various situations in our lives, and not all cause-and-effect relationships can be taken into account in order to confidently speak about the chronology of events that led to the birth of the problem, which we have reconstructed in detail. That is, detailed analysis of a problem, delving further and further into its history can be just as harmful as completely abandoning such work. Such an analysis can require a lot of time and effort from the person, from the people solving the problem that has arisen, and may not produce a tangible result, but will only confuse the situation further. Because, I repeat, not all factors influencing the occurrence of various situations leading to a problem, we are able not only to study, but even to notice. Therefore, it is more reasonable, in order to save resources and time, to pay more attention to the most obvious reasons that led us to the problematic situation and are not so distant as to mentally return to the deep past to study the history of the occurrence of these reasons.

The simplest thing that can be done at the first stage of solving a problem is to determine the moment when our personal interference in the course of events gave rise to this problem. Let's take the simplest generalized example: something is not working out for you in what you are doing now. It seems to you that you are not getting the desired result and therefore you conclude that you have a problem, because you do not know what and how else you need to do in order for the desired result to appear. To solve this problem, you need to break it down into its component parts. What are its components? The first part, in this case, is the idea with which your business began. When your business began, the story of the birth of your problem began. You conceived something and then began to act, according to a plan or without it, here everything depends on the complexity of the plan itself. This is the beginning of a problem, even if at the very beginning it did not exist as such. And in this part of your problem, you need to find out what your idea was based on, what knowledge, reflections and assumptions that give you confidence that such a thing is even possible to do and that you need it. That is, you need to understand your motives and ideas about your business. Maybe it is completely absurd in its logic, maybe such things are generally impossible to do, at least in the existing reality at the present time. And you took on it, for some reason believing that it could be realized by you. And why? This is what we need to work with. In order not to bother with the subsequent components of the problem, it would be wise to first understand the reasonableness of the intentions, the ideas on which it is based.

But let's say you have reason to believe that the thing you are doing can be done, because you have examples of how other people do such things or have an impeccable theory indicating that such and such a goal is achievable. Then you need to move on to the next component of the problem - actions. Or to an action plan, if there is one. Thus, when you have justified for yourself the need for your business and its reasonableness, having weighed all the pros and cons, you need to properly analyze all the actions that you did and that you needed to do in order for this plan of yours implement.

Any action always consists of different stages, or one might say, their different steps. And, therefore, from the intermediate results achieved from each step taken. You must know how to take each step or small step, if we are talking about the most simple actions, and what result should be achieved, so that you can be sure that you are doing everything correctly. Let’s say you decide to build a house and then the first step that you will need to take, in addition to the plan, finding finance, digging a pit and other things that we will consider small steps, will be laying the foundation. This is the first step. After all, it is from the foundation that the construction of a house begins, and not from the same roof or walls. First, the foundation is laid, then the next stage of work, then the next, and so on until the end. And after each such stage, we record the result, look at what happened, how well it turned out, and whether everything is going according to plan. In our example, you must know how to lay the foundation, what is required for this, and what specific tasks to solve. This is provided that it is at this stage that you cannot cope with the task facing you - to build a house. And when you have learned how to lay a foundation, you must evaluate the result of laying it in order to make sure that in this part of the problem you are solving, everything is in perfect order; the problem with building a house, when it exists, does not concern such a part as laying the foundation. Well, if there are no problems with this, then you need to consider the next step, then another one, and so on, until you come across something, some step or little step that you don’t know how to do, at which there is a successful solution the task is interrupted. And then you need to study this link in the chain - look for information, think in order to understand how to take this step and further move in solving your problem, which will already lose the status of a problem, because you will figure out one of its components. At least until you again come across something incomprehensible and unknown while taking or studying your other steps.

You need to do this with all cases in order to understand how problems arise in them, where exactly they arise, in what link, at what stage, and study the unknown in these links in order to solve the problem. Everything is done step by step and the intermediate result is evaluated. And the more complex the task, the more steps it should be broken down into to make it easier to solve and prevent it from becoming a problem. When we evaluate our actions, analyzing these intermediate steps in our business, we look at what we did according to the plan, sample, example, theory and whether these steps were carried out in the correct sequence, because it may still turn out that a problem arises due to inconsistency of actions. That is, the result does not appear because another sequence of actions is needed for its appearance. And then, if everything is fine, all steps are done correctly and in the correct sequence, we look at what results we got. Here, too, you need to be careful and see intermediate success, even if it is very small. Because sometimes it happens that a person sees a problem in something that does not exist, because he believes that he has not achieved the desired goal, although he is already halfway towards it, he just does not understand it. In the example of the same house, a person may want too quick a result and, at the stage of laying the foundation, conclude that building the house is not possible because it does not have a roof, although this intermediate result indicates that everything is going right, but for roofs until the time has come. That’s why you need to evaluate the implementation of your business step by step in order to understand whether there is a problem at all or whether it’s all a matter of time, which is needed more until the final main result is achieved. If this is how the problem appears, then it is related to timing, and not to errors in actions or not knowing how to perform them. A person simply does not understand in what time frame his case can be resolved and mistakenly believes that he is doing something wrong and therefore sees a problem in his case. In other words, he is not patient and therefore his problem is not real, but fictitious, it is located exclusively in his head.

And the last component of the matter, which should be dealt with in order to understand where exactly the problem arises with it, is the consequences of its implementation. We can figure out our plan, we can figure out our actions - the sequence of our steps and intermediate results, but still, the matter ultimately may not give the desired result, because its implementation can lead to consequences that will annul the previously set goal . That is, the job will be done and done correctly, the result will be obtained, but it will lead to something undesirable. Well, let’s say a person decided to create a business and get rich with its help. And in the end, he created a business, but did not get rich, or, on the contrary, he also became poor, because he got into debt, spent all his savings, as well as time, not allowing him to do other important things. And this became a problem for him. He does not understand why his life, with the result achieved, did not become the way he planned. If we analyze such a problem, then, I repeat, at all stages, starting from creating the conditions for its occurrence and ending with the final result, everything can be correct, except for the result in the form of a full return on the achieved goal - improving the financial situation. Why does this happen, why does something, after it is done, depreciate itself and, as a result, the solved problem becomes a problem, as if it had not been solved? Very important question. And the answer to it will be a person’s lack of understanding of the costs of his desires, his goals. Simply put: every goal, every desire, has its own price. Or your costs. If you do not take them into account, then a person will solve problems, receive the planned results, but will not have the desired outcome associated with them from his actions. Using a house as an example, it may look like this: I built a house, but did not experience joy. Or, he got rich, but his happiness did not increase. Or, you found your love, and it led you not to joy, but to suffering. You can also say that a person achieved victory, but it did not bring joy or the expected benefit - this is a “Pyrrhic victory”, it gives less than it takes. That is why it is necessary to approach solving problems with the broadest possible view of them, especially in the context of time, in order to either see in advance the consequences of what was done and not then consider as a problem what should have happened, along with what the person was waiting for, or , having seen unexpected consequences from achieving one’s goal, either accept them as inevitable costs, or switch to another goal if a person is not ready to pay the obligatory price for the realization of his desires.

A problem may not always be a consequence of an unsolved problem; it does not always arise due to a person’s ignorance and lack of understanding of how to solve this or that problem. A problem is not always something that a person does not know how to cope with. There are also frequent cases when the problem is simply the result of a person’s limited view of the situation, when he does not understand that the result he received is the best possible or best known result in such cases and one should not count on more when inventing a problem because your idea of ​​the ideal option. Well, it’s like creating an engine that will work according to known physical principles, but will not meet the requirements of a person’s idea - to create a perpetual motion machine capable of generating energy from nothing. In this case, a possible result will be obtained, not an ideal one. Maybe the ideal one is also possible, but achieving it will require solving problems in a completely different plane. Therefore, in what was received, taking into account the possible, there is no need to see a problem. In relations between people, such logic, or better to say, such desires of people are expressed in the fact that people want to see in each other an ideal that would combine incompatible qualities. Or rather, even mutually exclusive. This is what creates a problem for them when they see that they do not have such an ideal. But there is something that is possible and which in a particular case may be quite sufficient. And striving for the ideal, you can end up with nothing at all. Here we return to the first component of any problem related to something that a person wants to do - to a plan, a goal, a desire. At this stage, it is desirable, although not always possible, to evaluate the consequences and costs of implementing your idea, your desire. You must at least understand the smallest thing, that in any deed done, in any goal achieved, in any realized desire there will be its downsides, its shortcomings. You can't go into the water without getting wet, so you need to be prepared for this.

This is how it turns out that sometimes a problem arises only in a person’s head and it must be solved there. In real life there may not be a problem; there are only results adequate to certain conditions. In real life, one or another task can be solved, all steps to solve it can be completed without any unforeseen intermediate results, all goals are achieved. Only the consequences of achieving these goals can cause dissatisfaction, although they were inevitable. Or a person’s life can develop in accordance with his actions, which can give just such a life. And he will see this as a problem if he doesn’t like his life, believing that it should have been different. But it’s only in his mind that it should be different, and life exists according to its own rules. Therefore, it would be logical to conclude: if we want to solve a problem, then we can start solving it from the end - making sure that it generally exists outside of our head. Because if it is only in her, in her head, then it needs to be solved there, without trying to change anything in the outside world, so as not to create new problems that will already be more real. By the way, this rule is not absolute, so sometimes we can adjust this world to our ideal ideas about it. It is not for nothing that there is an idea according to which we are born to make a fairy tale come true. And if a person sees a problem for himself in something that has always been the norm, this does not mean that he cannot solve it in reality, and not just in his head. But this also does not mean that such a decision will be easy. Because the main question in this case is: “How?” — how to do what we want, there may not be a ready answer. And no one knows where to look for him. But it's definitely there somewhere. To find such answers, you should use scientific logic, the essence of which boils down to searching for something new.

The inevitability of problems

The most important thing to understand about problems is that they are inevitable. This life is impossible without problems. Because problems open the world to us from an unknown side, they constantly teach us something new. In addition, some problems simply cannot be ignored; they have to be solved, either by ourselves or with the help of someone else. They cannot be avoided or ignored even if one wants to. It’s just that if you don’t deal with them for a long time, they can get worse, accumulate and then hit us so hard that we may not be able to withstand such a blow. Some problems cause people to break down so much that they can completely lose their personality. And problems can also lead to the death of a person. Therefore, it is better not to avoid them in your life, but, on the contrary, to meet them halfway through your activity. After all, the more you want to achieve in life, the more problems you will have. Problems accompany success, victories, greatness. The greater the person, the greater will be the problems he will face. We can also say that by what problems a person deals with, one can determine the greatness of his personality. Great people, ambitious people, have much more serious problems than those who do not stand out from the mainstream. But at the same time, great people treat their problems much calmer than people of lower rank, whose problems are small, but panic because of them can be great.

I believe that from childhood a person should not be set up for a problem-free, easy life by helping him in everything possible. He himself must cope with his difficulties, he must fight for his interests himself, without outside help, with rare exceptions when his problems exceed his capabilities many times over. And so, the less we interfere in a person’s life from childhood, the better for him. Each of us needs an adequate load necessary for normal development. And it creates problems for us. You can try to protect yourself from many problems, but that will give you. Today you are calm because you dodged some difficulty that could create a problem for you, you threw it onto someone else, hid, ran away from it, and tomorrow it will push you against the wall and break you, or worse, destroy you. You are defenseless against difficulties if you avoid them all the time so as not to deal with problems, including those that you could easily solve. But you chose to avoid them and did not pass the test necessary for your development, so that it would make you stronger. But if you have a whole army of solved or even simply experienced problems behind you, then try, break you. In this case, you will no longer be so frail, with such and such life experience.

So, don't be afraid of problems. And in order not to be afraid of them, look for opportunities to constantly solve them. Whether it’s your problem or someone else’s, it doesn’t matter. The main thing is that you have them. More precisely, you will have them anyway, but it will be better if you find them for yourself than if they find you. When any problem or problems arise, you just need to ask yourself the right question or questions to start looking into it. The question triggers the work of thinking, which creates new questions that help find or come up with new information with which the problem can be solved, turning it into a task. Thinking and knowledge are the cure for problems. And questions are the search for the necessary knowledge through reflection. When thinking, a person moves from the data he knows about the problem to the unknown, which, in fact, makes the problem a problem. He studies them, these unknown data, until he understands all their logic, until all the components of the problem facing him become clear to him. This way you can solve any problems. The only question is the time during which they will be resolved. But the main thing is to do this kind of work, and not to neglect or ignore problems.

Don’t look for easy ways in life, trying to avoid everything difficult, unpleasant and uninteresting. Although they exist, these easy paths, they often lead people to serious consequences. And, yes, here’s another thing – problems themselves are not solved. And if some of them are resolved, it is often not in the way we would like.

Break the obstacle

A problem half broken is half solved. For example, if you don't have enough money to get a mortgage, you can break down the obstacle into "income is too low," "expenses are high," and "future house expectations."

And then address each category differently. Once you have categories, it's very easy to keep digging.

For example, you can now list reasons for the “income is too little” category and do the same for “high expenses.” This can help you narrow down best practices, ideas, possible solutions to your problem.

Ken Watanabe, author of Problem Solving 101, recommends a decision tree, a tool that uses a tree model of decisions and their possible outcomes and consequences.

The solution to the problem is not posed in terms of an isolated solution. The problem is posed from the point of view of a decision tree.

A decision tree can help you consider different options with greater ease and clarity. The idea is to take everything apart until you have no individual parts.

Once you understand the problem, you can easily analyze the cause and finally execute the best course of action.

The point of analysis is to never accept statements at face value, including your own.

Calm your emotions and make a plan

Before solving problems, you need to pacify your emotions. Panic and anger do not allow us to soberly assess the situation and our actions; under the influence of feelings, we tend to act illogically. Almost everyone who has at least once made a decision based on emotions immediately and later regretted it more than once.

To successfully solve various problems in life, you need to draw up a detailed plan of your actions. It is worth starting to compile it immediately after emotions have subsided and the ability to think sensibly and rationally has returned. Do not forget that a plan to overcome a problem is just an outline consisting of proposed actions. It is necessary to prepare in advance for the fact that it will have to be adjusted. Moreover, this can happen both before the start of its implementation and during it.

Approaches to the problem with “genic” thinking

In many situations, when people are faced with a problem, they tend to think about what they should do instead of asking what they can do.

This can help you think through the problem at hand to come up with more creative solutions. You should narrow your thought process down to the one answer that seems most obvious.

“When we think in terms of 'could's,' we remain open-minded, and the trade-offs we make inspire us to find creative solutions,” says Francesca Gino of Harvard Business Review.

If you can resist the pressure of time and give yourself time to think, you will find options, even better solutions to the problem.

"What if…?" and “How about...?” are questions that open up opportunities for better solutions.

Rethink boundaries. Scientists are great at this. They don't assume anything. They also never stop asking questions. Their job is to question basic assumptions to get to the heart of things.

The idea is to take everything apart and think beyond the existing principle. This process opens your mind to new ways to find better solutions.

General information

Most often, we talk about the presence of some kind of problem when some obstacle arises between our goals and what we have now. And in our experience and consciousness there are no options for bridging this gap. That is, the problem is not what we see, but the problem is that it prevents us from reaching our goal.

Like it or not, you will have to deal with this sooner or later; throughout your life you will not be able to shift responsibility for the fact that you cannot cross the abyss that today separates you and your goal. This can be either a personal goal or a work goal. So every person should learn how to solve problems. Moreover, everything has long been invented, both methods and algorithms of action.

For better problem solving, don't rush your thinking process.

Many people assume that they simply need to think more when they are faced with a difficult decision or when they are trying to solve a difficult problem.

But focusing more intensely won't produce that "eureka moment" you need.

Instead, your best option may be to move away from your problems and do something unrelated to the project.

Give your brain time to solve the problem. You will be amazed by the results. When you stop thinking about a task, your brain continues to work on the problem in the background.

“To solve a problem creatively, to gain insight, our brains tend to avoid visual distractions, physically block out information, and look somewhere else. You don't want to overload your mind with visual information because you want to focus on yourself, and you end up in "offline mode" where you're very thoughtful," says Carola Salvi, an Italian researcher at the Creative Brain Lab at Northwestern University.

Give your brain the opportunity to reorganize the problem and come up with a better solution. And when you have an insightful moment—when a solution comes out of nowhere—you have to trust it because it's probably the right decision.

Don’t forget about rest and don’t “saw sawdust”

Psychologists who know better than others how to solve problems with the least possible losses for themselves advise not to forget that the body always needs rest. Experiencing stress, which absorbs the lion's share of the energy produced by the body, a person loses strength. Adequate physical and emotional rest will help increase their number.

Particularly weakening a person is constant regret about something that caused the problem or prevented it from being successfully overcome. You shouldn’t “saw sawdust,” that is, return your thoughts to the past again and again in order to properly regret it. This doesn't make any sense. If your pressing problem concerns something that cannot be changed in any way, try to distract yourself from it and not constantly scroll through it in your head. You will no longer influence what happened, but your thoughts greatly influence what can happen to your health.

Armed with expert advice, you can safely fight your problems. It would be foolish to expect some kind of miraculous end to this fight, but you can count without a doubt that thanks to the right approach, problems will be solved much easier. Remember, everyone is capable of solving their problems on their own, and no one is assigned to do this dirty work for you.

Power of incubation period

Scientists have studied the “incubation period” for years. Over the years, they have found that amazing ideas, solutions to problems and obstacles often come to people when they are not actively trying to find a solution.

The incubation period works because your brain gets a break from all the distractions. People experience a spark of genius when they are busy doing something unrelated to the problem they are trying to solve.

You don't need to take a long incubation period to make the most of it.

Even 10 minutes can be enough to help your brain gain a new perspective. The next time you want to find a quick solution to this problem, remember the incubation period and give your brain a chance to surprise you.

Develop the Right View

Once the true problems have been identified and the order of their resolution has been lined up, it is necessary to move on to the next step - forming the correct view of them. Of course, the complexity of situations varies, however, before you begin to resolve each of them, you need to think about what useful things can be learned from it. It sounds strange? Not at all.

Solving every problem requires you to demonstrate one or several qualities at once. This means that the development or training of certain character traits can be considered a positive aspect of each of them. In addition, in difficult situations we can become more active and quick-witted, we learn to think and behave outside the box. According to scientists, leaving the psychologically comfortable zone is the best way for a person to personal growth.

To solve problems, try thinking backwards

When thinking about a process, we often get caught up in following the same sequence in our mind.

Thus, we miss opportunities to use ideas that come from following an alternative sequence, such as working backwards.

To better resolve problems, you may need to undo key actions in the problem.

Start consciously at the end of the process and develop it step by step. Reverse engineering changes everything. This allows you to notice patterns that your brain usually ignores.

When you work backwards, your mind slows down. You begin to see things you haven't seen before.

Thinking backwards works when the end result is clear, but the beginning of the problem is unclear.

Slow down your pace

Problems make us feel uncomfortable, so we try to solve them as quickly as possible. However, it is important to slow down and take your time while thinking about decisions. There is no need to immediately cling to the option that just came to mind.

Once we stop thinking about a problem and then come back to it after a while, the solution becomes much clearer and more logical. When you give yourself a break, your subconscious does not forget about the problem, but slowly works on solving it, and after you make a mental effort, the correct answer will be on the surface.

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The solution to a problem may come in a dream

Your memory is consolidated when you're awake, leaving little time for deeper connections. But this is also true for sleep.

The brain makes better connections when you sleep, allowing you to create new and useful associations between unrelated ideas.

In many cases, when you feel the urge to stay up late to find a solution to a problem, you are better off going to sleep with it. Your brain can solve this problem for you while you are fast asleep.

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Learn to think ahead

If you persist in solving a certain problem, but do not use the right tools, then you are unlikely to be able to solve everything. In addition, it will leave an imprint on your inner state. Many of us want to get in shape for summer. We make a schedule and promise that we will stick to it, but many people don't. If you do not renounce your standard approach, then the extra pounds are unlikely to go anywhere. In addition, due to the fact that you could not start, you will be haunted by a constant feeling of guilt. So try to open your mind and accept new solutions to the problem.

Sometimes the exact opposite method to yours can bring excellent results. For example, you want to start working out on the sports ground, you tried it a couple of times and didn’t like it, then try your hand at the gym, hire an instructor who would explain everything to you, and then start working. And by the way, in order to get in good shape, it’s enough to engage in some sports section, so find what you like and go ahead!

How to Solve Problems: Final Thoughts

Problems are inevitable. In every situation, consider all options, no matter how unimportant they are at the time. Keep an open mind.

In any situation that calls for better solutions, explore your options, question basic assumptions, use better systems, create new approaches, rethink normal boundaries, give your brain a better chance to incubate, and work backwards to notice patterns you usually ignore .

If you get stuck, move away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, sleep, bake a cake, draw, listen to music, exercise; Whatever you do, don't sit there frowning at the problem.

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Picture your downfall

The great psychologist Dale Carnegie advises looking straight into the eyes of failure to get rid of the panicky fear of failure. In other words, you need to believe in success, but at the same time clearly understand that no one in this world is completely immune from anything. Why think about failure, isn't it discouraging?

Dale Carnegie explains this by saying that in a problematic situation, a fiasco for many means the end of life. They are terrified even for a moment to imagine that everything will end in the worst way for them, and they have no idea how they will live after that. According to the psychologist, having thought through our actions in advance if everything does not go as we hope, we protect ourselves from panic fear of such a turn of events and will not be completely confused if everything happens.

Tips for making a decision

Whatever method you choose to make your decision, I recommend always following the tips below.

Get rid of emotions

Spontaneous momentary emotions prevent you from making the right decision. They are blinding. As a result, we lose sight of important details and focus on unimportant details. This is especially true in personal life, when under the influence of strong feelings and uncontrollable emotions a quick marriage or impulsive divorce occurs.

There are several ways to help avoid the negative influence of momentary emotions.

  1. 10-10-10. The essence of the method is to think about how you will feel about this decision in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years. For example, a man fell in love and decided to leave his wife and children. After 10 minutes, he is unlikely to regret his decision. The love and euphoria of starting a new life will still be strong. After 10 months, the passion may subside and the shortcomings of the new lover will be revealed, and along with this a bitter feeling of losing something important will appear. Of course, it is difficult to predict what will happen in 10 years, but it is quite possible that the feeling of falling in love will pass, and the man will regret leaving his family.
  2. Breathing . Before you make an important choice, give yourself a break. Take 10 slow and equal-length inhalations and exhalations. This will help you calm down and cool down. This method works well for spontaneous purchases. It would be nice to combine it with the previous one.
  3. Advice to a friend . We can easily give reasonable advice to a friend, but at the same time, when we find ourselves in a similar situation, we behave illogically and get hung up on unimportant details. For example, you want to change your job to a higher paying one, but you are afraid of change, and the team is good and contact has been established with the director. Now imagine that your friend faces the same choice. What advice would you give him?
  4. Darkness . To calm raging emotions, you need to spend some time alone in a dark room or in the twilight. It calms you down and helps you put your thoughts in order. It is for this reason that the lights in stores are always very bright, which makes us make impulse purchases.

Always follow your core values

The decision made should not contradict your core values ​​and principles. Let's say you have a choice - a highly paid job, but with overtime and almost no days off, or a less profitable job, but with a normal work schedule. In this situation, think about why you are working. What is more important to you – money or the opportunity to spend time with your family? Have you set your goal correctly?

Ask two people close to you for advice

When in doubt about what decision to make, ask the two people closest to you for advice. As popular wisdom says, through them the angel tells you the best solution. The inner voice is a kind of message from a guardian angel. And when we don’t listen to him, the angel tries to convey to us the right decision through loved ones.

Keep it simple

With all the methods listed, it may seem that the decision-making process is extremely complex. However, these methods can help when you have to choose between different alternatives that have both advantages and disadvantages. What if you don’t lose anything by choosing? Then throw all these methods out of your head and just act.

Once, during my student years, my dorm neighbor came running to me and offered to go with her to her hometown, which was 200 km away, to celebrate March 8th. But we had to leave within an hour to catch the last train. What did I have to lose? An opportunity to celebrate a holiday in an empty dorm. Of course, I agreed, went with her and met my future husband there, with whom we have been happily living for more than 10 years! I made the right decision.

Such situations, of course, do not occur often. But the more we think, the more we doubt. Therefore, in situations where the choice is easy to make because you have nothing to lose, think and act less.

As Lee Iacocca said: “A good decision made late is a mistake.”

Unconscious methods

We often find ourselves in situations where we need to make a decision quickly, but we can’t analyze it because we don’t have similar life experience yet, there’s little information and time is running out. Then we make decisions using methods that cannot be called rational, because they lie beyond the bounds of reason.


Very often we almost immediately feel what choice we need to make. This is dictated to us by our inner voice - intuition. Intuitively we make decisions related to our personal lives, human relationships, emotions and feelings. These areas of life are difficult to predict, and there is nothing left to do but make a decision and see what happens next. If your gut feeling doesn’t let you down, then everything will turn out great. Otherwise, you will have to work on developing your intuition.


Some people who don't trust their intuition turn to fortune tellers. They are confident that an outsider who has the gift of clairvoyance or at least knows how to correctly lay out and interpret tarot cards will be able to clearly say what the right thing to do is. It seems to me that this is just a way to avoid responsibility for the decision made. After all, if it turns out to be erroneous, then you can blame the fortune teller, the cards - in general, everyone except yourself.


Believers do not turn to fortune tellers, for fortune telling is from the evil one. With their internal contradictions and questions, they go to the temple, where they pray fervently. Of course, you shouldn't expect a miracle. However, prayer helps you focus on the problem and listen to your heart. It will just tell you the right decision.

And in Christianity there is one amazing book - the psalter. It contains texts for all occasions. To make the right decision, you need to choose a psalm related to the relevant area and read it several times. In the temple itself they will definitely tell you who to pray to.

Glass of water

The founder of this method is the American parapsychologist Jose Silva, who developed non-scientific techniques that help people increase their level of intelligence, heal themselves and others, and develop mental skills.

To make a decision using this method, do the following:

  1. Before going to bed, take a glass of clean, unboiled water with both hands.
  2. Close your eyes and mentally formulate the question you want to solve.
  3. Drink about half a glass in small sips, while repeating the spell to yourself: “This is all I need to do to make the right decision.”
  4. Open your eyes, place a glass near your bed and go to bed.
  5. In the morning, drink the remaining water and thank you for the right decision.

As the author of this technique assures, the solution can come immediately after waking up or appear suddenly during the day. At the same time, the person will not doubt his loyalty one bit. It will be that obvious.

Scientists explain the principle of operation of this method by the fact that a person consists of 80% water. Water itself, according to scientists, has memory. It can remember various information and even transmit it over long distances.

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