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Turning Problems into Opportunities at Work

Updated on December 4, 2013
Work and life can appear to us as puzzles, challenges, and pains. Before giving up, look for opportunities to change circumstances.
Work and life can appear to us as puzzles, challenges, and pains. Before giving up, look for opportunities to change circumstances.

"Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity." -- Joseph Sugarman

Creation In the Workplace

In creative thinking, nearly all problems have multiple solutions - like alternate realities in science fiction stories.This can be great fun or a giant frustration.

In fact, some workrs worry so much about making the right decision that they imagine all the possible choices and results in their heads, which sometimes takes a lot of time to accomplish. Have you ever played an entire game of chess in your head - both sides? That is a lot of activity and resembles problems in the workplace and their possible solutions, as well as possible exacerbations resulting from bad choices among solutions.

Some individuals spend time replaying the process of implementing solutions in their minds, but never choosing any of them, because they fear choosing the wrong one. They become frozen with indecision and cannot make any choices at all. You should likely not take visualization that far in problem solving, into a repeating loop; but in all problems, we have opportunities if we look for them.

Different definitions of the word "problem" result in differing attitudes - some proactive, some non-reactive. The proactive person sees problems as challenges, opportunities, and even games. to live life in this way would be fun very day.

All the variations of Rubik's Cube are challenges that can frustrate many who attempt to solve the puzzles.
All the variations of Rubik's Cube are challenges that can frustrate many who attempt to solve the puzzles. | Source
Some players take the puzzle apart and then walk away without a solution, but feel better.
Some players take the puzzle apart and then walk away without a solution, but feel better. | Source

Look at a problem as an opportunity for change and improvement.

A problem can be fortuitous, pushing you to climb out of a rut because things finally got so bad. You have the opportunity to take this problem and find a solution that will make you happier at work. It's like solving a puzzle.

Problems do not need to happen in response to pressure from external factors or horrible events at work. Deciding to have a fresh awareness and a new point of view will allow you to see possibilities for improvement, no matter what the circumstances around you. Any area that might be improved could be a problem for you to solve and thereby gain recognition in the workplace. Look for potential problems areas at work and solve them before they get out of hand.

Creative individuals are problem-seekers. Developing a proactive, positive attitude toward "problems" will cause you to be happier and more confident at work. People will like you better, too and likable people get promoted. The problem-solving attitude allows you to respond to with enthusiasm to enable positive changes, especially at work.

A problem is the difference between that status quo and reaching your goals.

As you assess your life and career progress, plan where you want to be in the future. Then arriving at your goals can be the career "problem" for you to have fun solving. The solution can be exciting and take you in directions you have not imagined.

A continuous improvement attitude will lead you to setting and reaching higher goals and achieving your "end" status. My own motto for my work and myself is from an Asian proverb. It is my personal and professional tagline: "When you get to the top of the Mountain, climb higher!" ©1989 - 2014

Do not stop at the bottom of a staircase or a landing. Keep climbing steps until you reach your solutions goals. Then create new goals.
Do not stop at the bottom of a staircase or a landing. Keep climbing steps until you reach your solutions goals. Then create new goals.

Joe Sugarman's Six Rules

  1. Always Be Honest

  2. Cherish Your Failures

  3. Relish Your Problems

  4. Concentrate Your Powers

  5. Do It Differently

  6. Clean Your Desk

A problem can emerge at work while realizing that the present is not perfect and the future might be better (problems solved) -- Can we reach that better future?

That problem is an opportunity to make things better to ensure more positive outcomes in our own futures at work and elsewhere.

These ideas have become the notion of continuous improvement: start from where you are and move up. That attitude creates a quality of hope and results in actions for productive and positive change.

Faith in achieving your hopes and dreams gives you permission to challenge yourself to improve your future. In that way, it is not a problem, it is a step up --

That can be somebody's motto.

Still thinking, no matter what happens.
Still thinking, no matter what happens. | Source

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    • lingqin01 profile image

      lingqin01 6 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

      Great! we are in the same boat in conquering the waves of problems. May you success!

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