Wednesday, January 30, 2013

(guest post: Hilary Weeks) Are you a natural problem solver?

From Hilary's blog, October 2010

When life gives you lemons
 
(Say it loud and proud…)
 
MAKE LEMONADE!!
 
(Or, even better, make strawberry lemonade. That stuff is liquid gold.)
 
Today’s post is about problem solving. I have a good friend, Emily Freeman, who is a natural problem solver. She solves her problems, her family’s problems, the neighborhood’s problems and thankfully, many times she has helped me solve my problems. She cares, really cares, when you tell her about a dilema – and then her mind goes to work. My mind, on the other hand just feels bad for the person. I don’t naturally think of things that would help. I mean I do, but I don’t. It isn’t an involuntary response – I have to tell my brain to start thinking of solutions, suggestions and ideas.
 
I was flying home from Canada one Sunday morning several years ago. I was traveling with a really amazing group of people including Wendy Watson Nelson, Elder Nelson’s wife. We were sitting at the gate eating some breakfast and a little bit of food fell on her jacket and left a small stain. Sister Nelson quickly came to her own rescue. Removing a pin from the lapel her blazer, she declared that she has been a problem solver her whole life and this situation didn’t intimidate her one bit. She simply moved the pin a little lower to cover the stain. She solved the problem without ruffling a single feather and she did it with style and confidence.
 
My daughter, Meg, shows signs of being a problem solver. Here is a note she passed me in church recently…
 
(Mom, can I have a mint from dad, I forgot to brush my teeth.)
Classic Meg.
 
Okay, so she let her dental hygiene slip for a second, but she solved the problem. No more stinky breath. She didn’t stress about it. She didn’t start crying. She didn’t lean over and say, “We’ve got to rush home so I can brush my teeth.” She just came up with a solution that worked under the circumstances. I like that about her. I like that about Wendy Watson Nelson. I like that about Emily.
 
Here are a few thoughts from other people who were good problem solvers…
 
“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
  Albert Einstein
 
“Have you got a problem?
Do what you can where you are with what you’ve got.”
-Theodore Roosevelt
 
“How you think about a problem is more important than the problem itself – so always think positively.” 
-Norman Vincent Peale
 
Blog to you soon,
Hilary
 

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