The first step to solving a problem is: acknowledge you have one.
Life is full of stuff we don’t like.
Car accidents, business bankruptcies, illness, divorce, war, crime. Being in business carries its own seemingly endless catalog of potential problems (yeah, I call 'em problems and not “challenges”… because they are problems. Keep reading. All will become clear.)
Pretending that these problems don’t exist – or that they don’t change things – is folly. It’s irresponsible.
In the business world, lots of people like to yammer on about how much they love Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”. But whenever I hear people praising that book, most of them neglect one of the points Hill made: the importance of accurate thinking.
And accurate thinking involves accepting reality. Whether you like it or not.
Instead of engaging in “positive thinking” and denying the reality of your situation, start by thinking accurately about what has really happened. As my friend Armand Morin says, “It is what it is.”
Too many times we try to put a “positive spin” on things, thinking we will somehow make things better if we simply don’t admit things are what they are.
Now, I am not saying you should dwell on the problem. I'm not suggesting your live in the Land of Pessimism (I am an Optimist, through and through).
No, the trick is to spend about 10% of your time accurately assessing and appreciating the scope of whatever problem you are facing – whether it be business trouble, relationship problems, illness, or what have you – and spend 90% of your time focusing on how to make it better.
Living in denial will not make things better; and neither will living in the Land of Eternal Pessimism.
Only accurate thinking equips you to really deal with whatever life throws your way.
It’s not always comfortable. But it is always the best wisdom.
So the next time life throws you a problem, please don't put on the Helmet of Denial. Instead, put on your big-boy face, look at that problem with your eyes wide open, and say, “It is what it is.”
And then ask, “So what am I going to do about it?”