“Don’t go looking for problems that don’t exist.”
“Don’t make a mountain out of mole hill.”
How many times have we been told in our lives to not make an issue bigger than it needs to be? And sure, this is great when you’re working through a challenge, you’re stuck in a rut or you’re just working through big emotions. The reminder that a specific event doesn’t need to be your mountain to climb can help you get through it.
But consider this: the problem-finders are often the greatest innovators in the world.
I read an article recently that highlighted that the combination of technology, innovators and the coronavirus has created a seismic shift in the way we work, learn and live. We were challenged to finding ways to work from home, to learn from home and to navigate challenges of life all at the same time.
And we found a way.
This is because, at our core, we can all be problem solvers.
The people, however, who take this to the next level, who seek out the problems waiting to happen, are the innovators.
So let’s imagine that instead of telling our children to stop looking for problems, to stop asking questions or to stop looking for trouble, what if we let them do it? What if we encouraged our kids to not only call out a problem, but learn to be accountable to at least start to solve it? Stop and notice what is going on in your world, consider what could improve it, then act to make it better.
I bet we’d inspire a new generation of problem-finders and problem solvers – some call these entrepreneurs – ready to create a product or service for something we never knew we needed but now can’t live without.
What if we encouraged our kids to find that mountain to climb and challenged them to keep asking questions?
Imagine what a world this could be.
The next time you find yourself helping your kid(s) find a solution to a problem, ask yourself why. Are you doing it because they are struggling? Or is it because they’re taking too long?
If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll probably find the answer is that they are taking too long. Give them space and time to seek out their own answers and they’ll most likely surprise you with what they come up with. It helps them develop their self-belief, a skill that will serve them well throughout life.
Try doing this for yourself, too. Don’t get frustrated when you can’t figure something out. Try various mindful practices. Go for a walk. Journal. Shift your brain entirely. When you aren’t forcing a solution to show up in a specific amount of time, you just might find the game changer.
Consider reading How to Solve Any Challenge You Face (Really!)