Solving a Problem

Success Hack

Success Hacks on Solving Problems

Sleep on it Hack – Unknown

When you go to sleep, ask yourself a question about the problem you are having, and then go to sleep! What’s interesting is when you sleep, your subconscious is actually designed to help you solve problems! Your barriers are down so you have the ability to think of solutions you may not have thought about before when you’re conscious or awake! The interesting thing is you’ll wake up sometimes with the solution you were looking for!

Sleeping on it allows you to calm down and see your problem from a different perspective. Changing a problem into something that is more manageable allows you to think that solving it is easily attainable. Therefore, you should try to look at your problem in a different way, almost like you are trying to solve a puzzle.

See Problems as a Puzzle Hack – Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones, a famous producer, was once asked how he managed so many artists. He was also asked how he would overcome the problems that would come up with making amazing music like We Are the World, producing the album Thriller for Michael Jackson and so many other achievements. He simply responded – I don’t have any problems, I have puzzles! When you look at every challenge in your life as more of a puzzle to solve, versus as a problem, it is more of a game for you to be able to solve it. It will help you give a different perspective and the energy to be able to deal with it! You will see it as a fun maze versus an issue which can be a drag to deal with. So, I don’t deal with problems, I solve puzzles!

If you are struggling to think of your problems like a puzzle, that’s okay. There are other ways you can look at it to make it seem manageable. Instead of a puzzle, just look at your problem as just another challenge in your life.

Solving Bigger and Bigger Challenges Hack – Mark Manson

Don’t work your life to avoid problems. In fact, your goal is to get so good at solving problems, that you get the opportunity to keep working and dealing with bigger and bigger problems. Also, change the word from problems to challenges. When you get to work on bigger and bigger challenges, and fix them, you become successful. When you’re successful, it’s not that your challenges have gone away, but it’s because the challenges have gotten bigger and bigger and you’re able to fix them. The question to ask yourself is not how I can avoid problems, but how do I solve them. As I got better and better at solving problems, I had the ability to be successful and solve bigger ones, thereby leading to more success and impact!

Now that you have a new perspective on the problem, how do you go about solving it? First, you need to see what it is a problem to begin with.

Identifying the Problem Hack – Brené Brown

Problem identification is always a sound investment of time, money, and energy! Einstein said if I had an hour to solve a problem it would be 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions! I found that getting clear about what’s wrong and why it’s a problem is the best investment you can make at home or work!

Identifying what has gone wrong is hard work, but it is essential to knowing what you can do about it. In this sense, what you really need is to get to the root of what is causing you problems in the first place.

Getting to the TRUE Root of the Problem Hack – Unknown

The 5 whys hack. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or have a big problem, it’s easy to get into fight or flight mode and look at the problem on its surface and start blaming others and making decisions out of ignorance versus asking quality questions.

Quality questions will lead you to do what is right or wrong versus finding The Who?

It helps to slow things down so you can look and find the root of the problem without overreacting or making decisions based on the wrong Facts.

For example let’s say we missed our quarterly sales.

One might start by saying:

Q1: Why did we miss our quarterly sales?
A1: We made fewer sales calls.

Q2. Why did we make fewer sales calls than planned?
A2: We had fewer leads to work with this month!

Q3: Why did we have fewer leads this month?
A3: We sent fewer emails out this month.

Q4: Why did we send fewer emails out this month?
A4: We were short staffed!

Q5: Why were we short staffed this month?
A5: We didn’t plan on the fact that two people would be on vacation!

So now we know the root of the problem. We can plan ahead next time when people are on vacation instead of overreacting and having the sky is falling effect!

I find it is better to be focused on honoring the discovery of the truth rather than determining who is to blame. This gets you to focus off the ego which is determined on who is right and rather to focus on the truth which is what is right.

However, not everyone has an analytical mind. If you are having troubles conceptualizing the root of the problem, try thinking of it in a more visual way.

Image Streaming Hack – Win Wenger, Ph.D

In his techniques of original inspired scientific discovery, Dr. Win Wenger, a man who teaches executives leading-edge techniques on how to increase their IQ, says “Encephalographic (EEG) studies show that 80 percent of the area of the brain is involved with visual responses.” He adds, “….less than 5 percent of the volume of the brain and less than 1 percent of the cells of the brain are involved in conscious experience – the rest is unconscious.

Consequently, you need a technique that relies on the visual and taps to the unconscious. That’s why Wenger created image streaming.

It is a proven tool to unlock your entire brains potential!

Here’s how it works!

First, ask yourself a question. Maybe a business or personal problem you want to work out.

Second, set aside 20 mins. Where you do nothing but describe the images you see in your mind. Wenger says you must describe the pictures you see, no matter what they are, in vivid detail, and out loud.

By speaking audibly you create a feedback loop to your brain, he says. This helps to awaken more of your mental powers.

You don’t need to know how this process operates for it to work. Also, don’t try to control or direct what you see. Let the images stream out.

Finally, determine how the images you see answer your questions. In other words, assume the images are your answers. What are they trying to tell you?

During this process, the images may suddenly blossom into an obvious answer to your question. If so, great. Usually what happens, however, is that the images will make sense to you a day or so later. Whatever the case, jot down your insights or discuss them with a friend to help make them more concrete and to further the understanding of the process!

Once you have a clear vision on what the root of the problem is, you can begin to assess how it went wrong and why. One good trick is to think of the problem as a mathematical equation.

Do the Math Hack –  Liv Boeree

Liv Boeree is a famous poker player. She states, whenever I have to make a prediction on something uncertain, such as will I make this flight? Or, how likely is my partner to get mad at me for not taking out the trash? I now try to assign a numerical percentage to it vs. having fuzzy words like probably, sometimes, or possibly.

I try to picture exactly what it means as a number on a sliding scale 0-100 (never to Always). Even though the numbers appear very vague I found the outcome of my decisions improved significantly. After all, the physical reality we live in is governed by mathematics so it makes sense to train our minds to think in line with that reality as much as possible! If I’m trying to decide on something and the likelihood of it might make my partner angry with a score of 89 out of 100, I’m going to pass on that.

Putting a number on the problem will help you conceptualize and assess what it is and how it can affect you. Next, you can ask yourself what can go wrong if you think it’s worth the risk.

What’s the Worse Thing That Can Happen Hack – Terry Crews

Whenever I look at problems, I always ask myself, what’s the worst thing that could happen? If the answer is “you can die”, then I answer back I would rather die doing something I feel is right, than be safe and comfortable with the life I hate.

I talk to myself alive, as I like to say, and this will help me sort out my fears. The more you run from your fears, the bigger they get. But the more you go into them, The more they tend to vanish like a mirage.

Of course deciding what the worse thing that can happen is also not as cut and dry. Fortunately, you can assess this in the same way that you assessed the root of the problem, through a mathematical equation.

Looking at Results of Problems Solved Hack –  Julia Galef

When something goes badly, I don’t automatically assume I did something wrong. Instead I ask myself, “What policy was I following that produced this bad outcome? Do I still expect that policy to give the best results overall, occasional bad outcomes not withstanding? If yes, then carry on.

For example, I have a tendency to beat myself up over mistakes I made in a blog post, meeting, or giving a talk, etc.. My impulse is always to think “well, I should have spent more time preparing for that!” No, actually the amount of prep time I would have to spend before each talk, to avoid mistakes like that, is not worth it overall!

When weighing decisions, I remember this principle – uncertainty over expected value just gets folded into EV or U/EV = EV. If I know that either option A or B is going to be great, and the other is going to be a disaster, but I’m unsure which is which, then they have the same expected value.

That’s a powerful reframe. Think of that for a minute. One of these options is great and the other is terrible, but I don’t know which is which so it’s paralyzing. But thinking to yourself, these options have the same expected value on each other is liberating.

I can’t tell which one is a better choice, so for all intents and purposes, they’re equally good choices! Now instead of going into stuck zone, I can make a decision and move on!

Putting your problems into math equations is a great way to identify risk vs. reward. However, in reality there are different opposing forces at play here…fear vs. intuition.

Making Decisions from Fear vs. Intuition Hack – Marie Farleo

When you’re making a decision, it’s important to see if you’re making that decision from a place of fear vs. intuition. How you’re able to determine this is being able to ask a question and see how your body reacts. Does my body expand with excitement or contract with resistance when I think about the decision or the opportunity.

Probe deeper and see if your breathing becomes shallow or does it get heavier. If you notice that your body is opening up and expanding and your breathing is deeper, that’s a sign of excitement or something that makes you want to lean towards it so that’s your intuition so should do it.

If you feel a contraction, less breathing, or your body shrinks up, that’s a sign of fear that probably means you are not looking forward to doing whatever that opportunity is. Do this the next time you’re wanting to make a decision and you’ll see how well it will serve you in making a conscious choice based on your intuition!

Now that you know how you can tackle your problems head on, what do you do when a problem arises that comes out of nowhere but can only be solved by you and you alone?

What to do When You’re Stuck Making a Decision Hack – Marie Farleo

When you’re trying to make a decision and you’re just stuck and can’t figure it out, focus on something else like exercise or a workout class. Become immersed into something else and what you’ll discover is, once you give your mind a chance to rest afterwards, the answer will come. The key is you can’t be looking for it. You just have to start focusing on something else and then magically the insight will appear while.

We have gone over a lot of different ways you can tackle how to solve your problems. However, the most important aspect of all is that you are in the right problem solving mindset in the first place.

Peak State Hack – Alex Dee

Whenever you’re considering something important in your life, be it taking a new job, staying in a relationship, or committing to a physical regiment, always make a decision when you’re in an empowered state and not a disempowering state. For example, if things are not working out with a partner for whatever reason, don’t make decisions when you’re in a fear, anxious, or scarcity mode state because it will likely lead to a break up or divorce. Whereas, if you’re feeling confident, certain, or excited, it might lead to working on the relationship, communication, or the possibility of it working out. It’s not that either is right or wrong. However, you’ll find when you make decisions whenever you’re in a disempowered state, it almost always leads to a life that’s small and does not lead to a life that you really want to create. How you get into peak state is pretty simple – it’s when you clear your mind and walk in nature, work out, do something where you feel grateful and alive. Once you’re in that peak state, that’s where you want to make important life decisions. Then you know your decision will also lead you to live the life you want and is driven by possibility, abundance, power, and love vs. fear, scarcity, or lack.

**Disclaimer** Please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors in our posts. We’re not looking to win the spelling bee, or even compete. Our goal is to give you the main concepts and short implementable strategies, or what we call “Success Hacks”, so you can implement them right away and get the results you want. To that end, many of the hacks are paraphrase of a paragraph, chapter of a book, or a podcast interview. These are a summary and main points so you can gleam the wisdom and use it. They do not reflect the author or expert’s opinion that’s being quoted. For more info on any of the hacks, feel free to go to the source or Join Our Success Hacks Nation FB Community to ask questions.