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Posts Tagged ‘problem solving’

I have a seven-year-old daughter. And while she is quite joyful, she’s also has a “glass half empty” personality. She could play 8 hours all day with her friends having the best time EVER, yet when it’s time to go home, she forgets all of it and it’s suddenly to worst day of her life!

I’m helping her learn to focus on the good, to shift her perspective. I have experience with this shift because I had to learn it myself. I tell her that her life will be much better, more enjoyable, and much less difficult if she can learn to switch her perspective.

I had to listen to my own advice today. It rained today, for a total of about 30 minutes. That’s all the rain forecasted for the entire day, and the sun is coming out as I write. I went for a run today, which took me 23 minutes. My 23 minute run was smack dab in the middle of the 30 minutes of rain.

So I DECIDED to look at it from a positive perspective. I could hcomplained. I could have decided not to run. But instead, I said: this is the reality. And I can do this even though this is not the reality I thought I wanted. So I ran in the pouring rain. And it was lovely. Seriously. It has been so hot and humid. The rain was like a cool shower for my entire run. Who knew I would enjoy running in the rain.

So I learned something by accepting reality. I experienced something new and I enjoyed it. It was a little thing today, but if I can take this knowledge with me when I face a bigger and more serious challenge, I might have a bigger positive experience and learn something even bigger!

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Time and money balanceIf you are like me, you are constantly trying to find that ever elusive BALANCE in your life. That (apparently unattainable) place where you are able to spread your time and talents across all parts of your life and take care of yourself, eveyone you love, be a great person, and never feel like your TO-DO list is longer than a piece of paper stretching around the world four times! One thing I have learned — especially since becoming a mother — is this: if I want to get closer to balance (and not feel overwhelmed), then I need help.

Of course, asking for help is not part of my DNA. I have to work at it. Sometimes it doesn’t even occur to me that I could ask for help. I could spend lots of time trying to figure out a way to fit just 30 more minutes of productive time into my day, rearranging my schedule, staying up later, skipping the gym, or many other unfruitful ways to make 24 hours into 24.5 hours. But how about this?

Instead of trying to figure out how you can do even more, how about trying to figure out who can help you so that you don’t need to do more?!

For example, who can I ask (or pay) to:

  • clean the house
  • do my shopping
  • watch the baby
  • do my administrative tasks
  • organize my closet
  • cook dinners
  • pick up dry cleaning
  • walk the dogs

These are just some of the things that I could use help with. I could ask my husband, babysitter, friends, and neighbors to help. I could pay them, or barter. Or I could hire someone who does these things for a living, like  a cook or virtual secretary or dog walker. Get creative!

What can you use help with, and who can help you?

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I’ve always said that it’s hard to think and feel at the same time. In other words, when you are really sad or angry, it’s difficult to have a discussion about it because you are so overwhelmed with emotion. A recent study seems to suggest that I may be right.

At An Associate’s Mind, blogger Keith Lee describes a study wherein participants were better able to solve a complex problem by imagining they were someone else. In the study, those who did the best problem-solving imagined that the problem was far away and belonged to someone else.

I like this idea. I’ve known I think more clearly about how to solve a problem when not mired down in it. This provides a quick tool: imagine it is someone else’s problem and try to help that person solve it. Genius!

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