From my childhood days till today, my habit has been of “Complicating things, before simplifying them.” Which means that I hardly prefer to accept anything without going much deeper into it and analyzing it properly. I spend my time thinking, researching, understanding, and digging the topics that I’m curious about. Then I finally come up with some lasting solutions which work for me ever after.
The time that I spend doing these things gets paid off. How? Because I discover some definitive ideas that work like keys when I face some “locks” in life. Which means that I don’t need to spend a long time pressing my head, thinking, or stressing out. Instead, I just apply these simple techniques appropriately in what I do, and the stubborn problems get solved. It becomes as easy as peeling off a sticky-note that contains my to-do list.
If you look around yourself, you’ll find people struggling to get things done, achieve happiness, and build a better environment. All of us face the same kind of problems, since we belong to the same tribe. The tribe of humans. But we often forget that there are a few fundamental laws of nature that govern our life, and can simplify it, if brought into practice.
- Focusing on complications doesn’t solve problems,
- Sitting and crying like a child doesn’t solve problems,
- Living with a fear of facing the odds doesn’t solve problems,
- Pitying yourself for having a wretched life doesn’t solve problems,
- And neither does eating potato chips (just kidding!).
Whenever I come across a notion which greatly influences me and which I find suitable for myself, I make sure that I don’t forget it. And more than that, I decide to inculcate it in my life in some way so that I can let it bring a progressive change in my life. And the moment those ideas work for me, I find myself in a jaw-dropping situation that make me say “wow! That works!” because I usually don’t believe in simple solutions. But when they do, I surrender myself to their greatness and make them an inseparable part of my living.
I’m sharing some priceless pieces of wisdom, which are capable of marvelously bringing a change in anyone’s way of cracking problems.
- Give yourself advice
Recently one of my classmates approached me to get some general advice. He complained about the difficulty of syllabus, lack of time, and said that he wasn’t even close to understanding programming and some other things. I patiently listened to whatever he had to say, and then tried to provide him with some solutions. But he wasn’t ready accept them and popped up new excuses to justify his problems whenever I made an attempt to help him. So I made him understand what I had to say in a different manner.
“Look at me. Imagine that I’m a helpless guy who doesn’t at all know how to program. Neither is my English that great, and nor do I know a good method for studying. Now what advice would you give me?” I said to him.
“Okay,” he replied, and thought for some time. After that he opened up immediately.
“Look, if you were really such a guy, then would suggest you to read and study a lot until you could understand the concepts. You’ll get better at programming if you keep practicing. And if wish to improve your English, then I think that you should join some classes, and keep learning. You’ll definitely improve.”
“Listen,” I said. “The guy who you were talking to, was not some imaginary helpless guy but you! Just do what you just asked me to do and everything will be alright.”
This time he seemed less confused. He had given himself his own answer, and could hardly question his own advice. Did that work? Yes I guess.
I wasn’t much surprised when he came up with that helpful advice, as I know that we humans are quite good at giving advice, but when problems befall on us, we become clueless.
So the trick is to imagine yourself as some other person who is stuck in the same problem as yours, give him some useful advice, and then use that advice for yourself.
- Walk into others shoes
Much of our life is spent in thinking about others and their views about us. Since we need to interact with people, we grow keener about how they perceive us, and it becomes major factor that affects our social reputation. But these thoughts are capable of eating out our life if overthought.
I used to be such a person. I always thought about what other people think of me. Being careless about my appearance made me uncomfortable. I always felt like all the eyeballs in the universe were staring at me. But then I realized that these thoughts didn’t even deserved my attention.
I still remember that once I and my cousin were about to go somewhere in a hurry and were ready to rush out of the house immediately, but then I refused to go.
“What happened?” he asked me.
I pointed at my clothes and showed him that I wasn’t dressed much neatly and couldn’t go out.
“Oh, that doesn’t matter. Let’s go,” he said again.
“But how can I?” I replied still feeling odd.
“If you were going somewhere and noticed a boy dressed like you, then how would you see him?” he said trying to explain me.
His words stuck me. He was right. If I were some other person, then I wouldn’t even have noticed myself, let alone my clothes. Since then, I’ve been using this way whenever the doubt arises that what would others think of me.
The truth is that we focus more than necessary on others views about us. Others are so much busy with themselves that they’ve hardly got any time to think about us. How much do you think about some random person walking through the street? Not much, right?
Remember that this trick works magically in other aspects of life too. If you’re a worker, think from your colleague’s point of view. If you’re a businessman, think from your customer’s point of view. If you’re a writer, think from your reader’s point of view. Overall, to know more about the thoughts, views, feelings, and judgments of others, just walk into their shoes.
So the trick is to walk into others shoes, and then see yourself and your actions from their point of view.
- Ask the question “Now what?”
We all face some circumstances which make us feel completely paralyzed and helpless. Even if we are willing to do something about it, we fail to take control.
When stuck in such a situation, just question yourself – “Now what?”
This helps in focusing on solutions instead of problems, and is the first step towards rescuing yourself from your helplessness. This single question motivates you to take a hold of the situation, and plan the next step accordingly.
Whenever I find myself stuck, then instead of making things more tense and complicated, I just question myself – “Now what?” and then all the answers follow this question.
So the trick is to stop being stuck and helpless, and asking the question “Now what?” to keep yourself moving on.
- Think of life as a whole
We get so much involved in what we do, that we almost forget to live and leave ourselves somewhere behind. The little things which we do connect like a chain with each other and form our whole life. Each day we perform our different roles like a son, student, parent, worker, artist, or someone else. But we get so much trapped in these roles, that we forget above all that we are humans.
Sometimes it is wise to think less about temporary things, stress less about what doesn’t matter much, and just be grateful for the precious gift of life.
Your science project, latest presentation, or site design isn’t of bigger concern than your life. Is it?
To me, doing chores seems like walking through the different paths of a town. Where each path shows the different things that you do like working, spending time with your family, or traveling. Each day you walk on those paths and perform your roles, and think that it is the most important thing for you to keep wandering on those paths of the town. So you pass each like the day before, by wandering in the town doing various activities. One day, you decide to climb on a mountain beside the town. You go at the top and take a brief watch at the whole town. This makes you realize that the town seems too much small from there, and so seems what you do. Perhaps you had spent too much of your life meaninglessly.
Then you realize that your life matters more than that town. You find that you were so much stuck in midst of the chaos of the town, that it became hard for you to realize the actual worth of your life.
Climb the mountain often. Have a look at your town, and know that you need to worry less about your problems, or at least realize that your existence has a greater purpose. It is good to take occasional pauses, kick-off useless things, and reflect on life.
So the trick is to not get trapped in the disorder of life, and focus on more important things.
- Create new ideas
What’s more better than having the keys for all the “locks” of life? Yes, by locks I meant problems. You can have solutions for all the problems, but only by becoming capable of creating your own. Each problem presents an opportunity to learn something new, old yet true.
Others solutions and advice might not always work for you. It’s their ways, their problems, and their solutions. You need to grow up, trust yourself, and find your own solutions.
Many a times, when I face some problems which are similar to the ones I’ve faced in the past, all I need to do is to just recall my past experiences and do what I had did then. Also, those experiences not only help me, but others too. Like right now, while you’re reading this post, I’m helping you with my ideas.
Seek solutions for all kinds of problems. Financial, educational, relational, social, and everything that’s a part of life. It makes life easier.
So the trick is learn and innovate new solutions, and develop a problem-solving attitude.
It’s not only you who goes through bad times or faces problems. There are several other imperfect beings trying to overcome their weaknesses and to become self-dependent. If you’re an expert at something, then use your expertise in helping some people rise. Remember that you’re born with a right to inspire. Our life becomes valuable when we add a value to others lives. Don’t miss the opportunity to help someone.
May God bless all! 🙂
I’m Vishal Ostwal. A writer, blogger, and the kind of person whose name rhymes with his surname. I’m an ordinary human, just like everyone. Apart from that, I’m a dreamer, doer, a fan of superheroes, and a storyteller who can talk about life tirelessly.
I’m on a mission to “make life worth living.”
Visit “www.VishalOstwal.com” to find my online home, or to give a virtual high five.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.