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     No matter your age, experience or intelligence, having the right attitude is absolutely essential to be a good problem solver. And, as we all know, life demands effective problem solvers.

     Solving problems keeps us alive and vibrant. Without such challenges we begin to wither away and our enthusiasm for life could decline. Think about the many stories of older folks who after retiring start to look and feel “old,” when only a few months ago, as part of the active work force, they looked and felt great. Of course, not everyone who retires or refuses to face life’s challenges will age faster than those of us who face life with a sense of optimism and eagerness, but there does seem to be some correlation.

     So how do we get going in the right direction so that we see our challenges as energizing and stimulating? The answer is in the outcome. When you solve a problem you feel better, you have a sense of accomplishment and you may even find some problem solving fun (even when solving one problem only seems to bring another issue to the forefront). So, be aware of how solving an issue makes you feel. Let your senses rejoice in the exuberance you associate with overcoming a problem. Feel the creative juices flow when you resolve another caregiver/client dilemma. By changing your belief system and embracing the problems you face day-to-day, you will start to thrive on each day’s challenges.

     Another key is to allow the creative juices to flow unrestricted. Pile on the possible solutions. The more possibilities, the better chance you will find a resolution that actually solves the issue at hand. Try very hard to not eliminate any of the possible solutions that you or others dream up. Visualize the problem with each solution and see if you can resolve each immediate situation. See each problem as an opportunity to shine, to be creative, to be fulfilled and to have fun.

     Be open-minded and let your creativity flow.

     Take the problem solving process and make it fun, not a chore.

     Life will take on so much more significance. 

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