Problem Solving: Intro into action
I’ve always struggled with taking action and I often placed the blame on myself: I wasn’t strong enough, disciplined enough, good enough, etc.. Eventually I started to question this mindset. Was there another explanation for why I did or didn’t do something?
I realized the main reason I stuck with poker (14 years) wasn’t willpower, it was because I was a 7th grade dropout who made over 500k before I could legally buy a beer. What the fuck else was I going to do?
As I started to learn more about willpower, I realized how shallow the willpower mindset is. This is not to say that willpower isn’t effective, just that I think it often fails for a lot of us. If you have a willpower mindset and you fail to take action you have only yourself to blame. There are no solutions other than to stop being a pussy.
This mindset has been the source of a lot of pain for myself and I imagine for others as well. The worst part is that it’s all unnecessary. If you truly understand where the difficulty lies you can diminish or completely remove it.
For example, when the initial excitement of writing this blog wore off, I hit a wall. I’d sit down to write at my desk multiple times a day and in minutes I’d end up on Facebook/Twitter or just blankly staring at the page. Eventually I’d slam my headphones on the desk and quit.
It wasn’t until I stopped blaming myself that I was able to find a solution. I asked a simple but vital first question, why is it hard? The answer was that I had a huge pile of unfinished posts and the prospect of finishing just one was daunting. The last two I finished took 30+ hours and 1 month each. It felt pointless to write something new given the above.
Question: Why is it hard?
Answer: It’s too difficult to finish a post
New Question: what would the solution have to accomplish
Asking this question makes finding the solution easier. It’s as if the solution you’re looking for could’ve been anywhere on the map but you pinpointed it down to one city.
Answer: Minimize the difficulty of finishing a post
How: Create a 1 week deadline
This is a simple solution but I felt a huge weight off of my shoulders and I’ve been writing without a problem ever since. I know this is a rather humble problem to solve, other books have these stories of war heroes, CEOs and pro athletes but this is the type of shit I struggle with.
The method for dealing with difficulty is simple: 1) Stop blaming yourself 2) Find the difficulty 3) Remove the difficulty.
Finding the difficulty isn’t always so easy as it was in this example. There are infinite different reasons something can be difficult. In the upcoming chapters I’ll be discussing the various ways I know of and how to use that to your advantage. Here are some of the categories:
- Lack of skill
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