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Does Solving Problems Reflect Intellectual Growth ?

Updated on March 16, 2015

To live, in a way is to have problems and to "solve these problems" is in a way to grow intellectually, quoted J P Guilford.

In other words, we all run into or face "problems" sometime, or the other. Or how many problems do you encounter every day ? Or how many mistakes do you make each day ?

In short, will you be able to face up to all your problems ?

Our problems should be considered as our challenges in life, and if you don’t learn up to face up to your problems, you will never learn to face up to them at all

Personally, I find facing problems as a part of life, and if people never had any problems, then their lives would be so boring. I think you may agree with me on that as I am sure most of you would have faced up to many problems

If not, please learn that no matter how big or small it is, you must still learn to face up to your problems, because if you don’t, you’ll never learn how to live, as life is full of problems from the day you were born to the day before you die.

I sometimes wonder that why do people tend to say that running away is not a way to solve your problems.


Sometimes running away from problems, doesn't mean that we ignore our problems. However, there are cases, when running away is the best option. In other words, letting time to solve our problems. Although it doesn’t appear rational, more than once for me, it has turned to be the better option and also given me a lot of peace

Problems can be work related or personal, and it is generally said that one man's solution to a problem could turn out to be another person's nightmare. This is mainly so because you're the only person in your life that can solve your problems. In short, if you don't face your problems and turn the other way, you are just avoiding them, which over time would pile up and cause you huge amount of stress.

J P Guilford's (SI theory) or Structure of Intellect theory states that an individual's performance on intelligence tests can be traced back to the underlying mental abilities or factors of intelligence. To be explained in today’s world, it would be more of a “slumdog millionaire” concept or theory.

So, just like everyone here, I have my own problems and issues, which I have learnt to face and solve them over time.

I am also certain that most people, who read this, would have their own version or story to narrate about. Accordingly, before I proceed further, let me first give due respect to them for perfecting their own version of a solution to coping with their problems and issues.

Structure Of Intellect

A Personal Problem

About five and a half years ago, I became in what you call medical terms, handicapped. My doctor had advised that it is better I take a rest and do something from home, something I couldn’t come to terms with. Here I was, waiting for a small excuse or the other to go out and boom, comes the doctor’s report. He further advised that I stopped smoking, driving and drinks, and also reduce my weight.

Initially, I thought he was joking, but when I learnt he was downright serious, I was broken. I just could not get myself to being locked up in a room, twenty four hours. Initially, it was pure misery and within no time, things spiraled out of control. For a while, movies were a big support – I watched a lot of movies (which I put it to good use, when I later had to write reviews of movies)

Although I followed his advise to the fullest and am very much better now, I still haven’t managed to achieve that. Hopefully, by the end of this year, I should achieve that side as well and be totally cured. Touch wood !

Anyway, these five years have been a tough and learning period and looking back, I have very little to complain as I have enjoyed it very much

Initially, I managed to alienate myself from most of my friends and family and did a great job of it . Most of them as I can understand was peeved at my negativity, remorseness and silence. Slowly their visits became less frequent and then eventually most of them stopped visiting.

It was then the computer and the internet came to the rescue.

It was then I learnt how much one could do with this machine and the net. It was then I realized the enormous potential out there for work at home mothers and people based at home. It was then I slowly started working from home

The first cheque was thrilling – it was small about $400, but it was something borne out of nothing.

Since then, I have a full-time relationship with the computer and have changed it three times, not because I lost that love, but for someone uses it so much – it gets worn out so fast as well.

Besides, the thought of doing another job or returning to my old did not even arise.

In short, I ran into problems, solved them and felt happier than before. Would I have been happier, if such a problem had never surfaced ?

Perhaps not, but that is not something for me to say – however, I have very little to complain at the moment. There is immense amount of passion and job satisfaction, which I never experienced with any previous job.

Many people have asked me whether I adopted any particular methods to solving my issues and whether I had applied any particular strategic processes to organize myself.

Sometimes, the problems don’t need any solving and as I mentioned, all it needs is some time. My case was a time-oriented problem so it didn’t require much input from my part. In other words, it did not require any outside help, such as a shrink to resolve it. Of course, I did visit a few in the early stages, who only made matters worse. I am not saying that they were bad, but all you need is to take a holiday, sit down and write your problems and slowly solve them one by one.

In my cases, most issues that I encountered were just ignored and they just disappeared. It was unclear to me what had happened, but it gave me the feeling that when you tend to ignore an issue or problem, they tend to resolve itself. It's magical, as if solutions emerge from nowhere. In fact, this method made me more relaxed and I refused to view problems as they should be viewed. Instead I began to view them as solutions that have encountered a minor setback or delay. Of course, this may irritate others, if they too are involved or are a part of the problem.

Theoretically, majority of the problems are time-based and resolve themselves in the long run. However, it causes a lot of worry and tension as we have the remotest clue, when this problem may be solved. It could be today or it could be after 3 months or even 3 years (now 3 years is too long for a problem to be solved, but I know cases of passive sufferers who have accepted these problems as their destiny or fate, and do very little to solve it). So, in a time based scenario, the time-period could cause quite a bit of misery.

So let's assume as per the subject topic we have run into a generic problem that needs a solution. A problem as such cannot be described, as it must be remembered that no problem can exist in the absence of an objective. That is to say, we need to know exactly where we want to arrive so that we can properly determine our track, as well as direction.

One of the most important factors is to initially view the problem with a fresh perspective. In other words, knowing where we are going, is an important aspect to problem solving.

So, do I have any advise for people who run into problems ?

Yes, a few simple steps

The first thing when you encounter or run into a problem is view it from all angles. You can do this by changing or restructuring my way of thinking.

For this you need sleep.

By sleep, you mean a sound sleep. The sleep would give you a relaxed mind, and makes any problem-solving far easier, instead of purely relying on intuition. After a sound sleep, your approach to solve the problem becomes more systematic, more balanced and logical.

Starting from that point onwards, it is easier to perceive the problem and you tend to view it less as a problem and more as an issue that has somewhat arrived at a solution.

Nature Of Intelligence (three dimensional view)

The SIX Processes To Solving A Problem

After the sleep, it is better to split the problem into smaller problems and begin solving it step by step. It is realistic when you do this and write the processes down, as you would very soon begin to see the possible solutions that underlie within each problem. That is to say, in order to resolve problems effectively one has to understand the whole process and their role in making the problems work. And as we live in a talking culture, it is imperative that we put these things in writing. This procedure helps you identify the best solution embedded within each problem

After writing it down, the next step in our hypothetical problem is to identify pain points, if any, and identify the connections between the connecting pain points. This would help you understand the problem better and then take on the objectives and translate them into structured programs. Then you could evaluate which solution has the most advantages, and further break down these solutions into different stages, while at the same time conduct a SWOT analysis between solutions.

Thirdly, I would suggest that you reflect on the possible solutions, while consulting friends and relatives. At the same time also conduct a strategic analysis and begin to tailor solutions according to their feedback and sentiments. This would eventually result in deeper penetration and a larger perception of the whole problem

Stage number four is to evaluate all possible solutions. In other words, reviewing the problem, point by point, while analyzing the pros and cons of each possible solution.

The next step or stage number five is when you implement the decision.

Last of all or stage number six, is post-decision justification or evaluation of the outcome. Of course this also means the implementation of any follow-up actions required.

Now you may ask, what do these so called stages have to do with my personal situation ?

Well for someone organized, any unplanned, impulsive behavior would lead to a bit of thinking.

So, although I applied all these six processes, I did not really adopt anyone of them as the solution to my problem turned out to be time and patience. It was out of pure frustration I started toying with the computer, and which eventually materialized in to a hobby and subsequently into a job.

So, it is only when you encounter or run into problems, only then, these so called strategies materialize. In other words, it is only when you start visualizing the problem mathematically, you begin to analyze what the problem really is, and start approaching it in an organized and logical manner. Then the whole problem becomes easier to solve.


Problems need to be solved or else they could develop into an even worse situation. However, you don’t have to take them head on and at most times it is a lot easier than struggling with it.

To put it in a different way, “you should fight your own battles, but that doesn't mean you should fight all of your battles on your own."

Also, don't ever try to perceive the problem bigger than it actually is, and the actual problem is only as big as you perceive it to be. So, once you visualize yourself to be bigger than the problem itself, it tends to provide a positive outlook, towards solving the problem

Finally, never give up no matter what may be the case. Just stick in there. You will definitely find a solution in a short period of time. All you got to do is just remind yourself that it is problems that help you to enhance your ability to live happily. Besides, once you find a solution to a problem, the feeling and satisfaction of solving it is so great that explaining it has just no words.

In the book “Living a Life That Matters”, the Massachusetts Rabbi, Harold S. Kushner, whose best selling books also include "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" advises that the most successful lives are the ones that who face up to their issues and problems, and effectively manage and solve their problems.

So, face each problem as a challenge, and consider each mistake as an experience. That is to say challenges in life help us grow, and with the process of growth we gain experience.

In short, the best way to escape a problem is to solve it.


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    • profile image

      julie parker 

      7 years ago

      loved this...

      J P Guilford's (SI theory) or Structure of Intellect theory states that an individual's performance on intelligence tests can be traced back to the underlying mental abilities or factors of intelligence

    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 

      8 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      Tell us more about the way you work from home! Great hub, keep it up!


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