3-problem-solving-dimensions

Looking at a problem across the following three dimensions may be useful in helping us better understand and problem, reframe our perceptions, and find ways to move forward.

Is it you or the circumstance?

Sometimes the problem is not us, but rather the circumstance we find ourselves in. We may believe strongly in living a more balanced life, but we may be unable to do that if we lived in a culture where most people are expected to work long hours.

How much influence do we realistically have? We can leverage that.

How much is outside of our control? We can avoid wasting energy butting up against those.

Is the fallout from the problem temporary or permanent?

If the fallout is temporary, it may be reasonable to grin and bear it instead of trying to expend the effort to fix the problem.

If the fallout was more permanent, we may need to try harder to fix it, or find alternative paths around it.

How widespread will the impact be?

How many people (or other factors like finances, morale and environmental) will be affected? This is the classic “wellbeing of the few versus the many” conundrum.

If the problem is a personal one, we can look at how widespread the impact will be across all the areas of our life.

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