Although we like to think that we are independent thinkers, open to new ideas and experiences, reality suggests something a little different. It may not be particularly pleasant to be described as predictable, and generally intolerant of change, but this seems to be the case for most of us. How does this trend manifest in our lives? One way is how we consider and treat problems.

Actually, I think it's helpful to avoid using the word "problem" because it sets and conditions how we think. The word "problem" acts as a metaphor and leads to negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Much better to see something as a "challenge" or, in the worst case, a "difficulty", as this provides an opportunity to view a problem from a more positive perspective. By taking it a little further, you have the freedom to open doors and create a mindset that acts as a catalyst for change, your own magic pill.

It is always sensible to see problems from a new perspective. This in turn opens a channel to new mental patterns of possibility. If we focus on the "problem", we can overlook possible solutions by imposing limits around the problem that inhibit the potential to find a better solution. All that remains is limited thought. Think back to the joys of school sitting in math class and wistfully trying to solve a complicated problem. I'm sure you were exposed to this type of experience long enough. Four divided by two equals two, and you don't even start thinking about any rest. So, having been taught by regiment that a problem has one and only one solution, it has caused people to adopt it as a rule, a way of thinking, something that is irrefutable. Formed in this way, we become uncompromising thinkers and apply this belief more broadly to all areas of our lives.

It would be preferable to have a philosophy based on the premise that each problem has at least one or more solutions. To create another possibility, it is a simple case of making new neurological connections by thinking outside the box. Many of us are victims of trying to solve a problem the same way over and over again, regardless of the problems involved. We use the same thinking, the same emotion, the same behavior, and generally get the same result. And you know what? It is a trap, a complete waste of your rich set of resources.

Author's Bio: 

As a math teacher in Asia, I face the same problem day by day.