We all have problems in our lives.
However, we all seem to have different types of problems.
For example, I know some people who always seem to have relationship problems, while others are always having health problems and others still are having money problems.
There is no shortage of different types of problems out there, and we all seem to have our own unique set of them.
What’s really interesting though is that most people seem to be able to solve problems in one area of their lives, while being completely incapable of doing the same in another area.
For example, some people have no problem at all keeping their weight down and staying fit, but they have relationship problems or money problems or car problems.
Other people have no money problems, but they are severely obese, or they have relationship problems.
What is it about these certain areas of our lives that we have such challenges with?
Why are we able to solve problems in one area of our lives, while being totally clueless in another?
I believe a big part of the issue has to do with our values and a detailed understanding of the problem itself.
Let me ‘splain.
How to Solve the Weight Loss Problem
Let’s say that you’ve got most of your life in order, but you have a “weight loss” problem.
How do people usually define such a problem?
They typically say “I need to lose weight” or “I’ve got a weight issue” or something along those lines.
They define the problem by the result it produces in their lives.
For example, when I was originally thinking about my personal “weight loss” problem, I thought that being “overweight” was the problem.
However, being “overweight” is not the problem… it is the RESULT of the problem.
You can’t solve the “being overweight” problem as it’s an EFFECT, not the cause of that effect.
The problem (cause) of the issue is something different – such as for example not enough movement/exercise in my life, and/or eating an unhealthy diet.
But even those aren’t the real problems.
Not enough exercise is an effect as well. What causes that effect?
That’s what we have to get to the bottom of if we are to solve the overall problem of being overweight.
See, the thing is that you can’t put “Lose Weight” as an item on your daily “TO DO” list.
Losing weight is not something we can DO. It is something that happens as a result of other, much smaller actions that we take.
For example, follow this train of thought.
Let’s say that part of the problem of me being overweight is due to the fact that I don’t eat enough healthy, nutritious meals.
So we would say that the problem is that “I need to eat healthier foods.”
But that’s not something we can put on a “TO DO” list either. It’s too large and ambiguous.
What kind of foods do I need to eat more of?
Well, lets say that I need to eat more fruit.
What kind of fruit?
Let’s say that I need to eat more apples instead of chocolate bars, as an example.
Can we put “Eat an apple every day.” on a “TO DO” list?
Yes we can, so we’re getting very close now.
But why don’t I eat apples right now? Well, one thing I know about apples is that I like to eat certain types of apples, and they have to be of a certain temperature.
What I mean by that is that there are certain types of apples that I like more than others. So if I have a certain type of apple in my house, and I don’t like that type of apple, chances are I won’t eat them.
Also, my wife likes to keep fruit in the fridge. I hate eating cold fruit, so 99.9999% of the time if I see apples in the fridge I will not eat them because I don’t like cold apples.
So if I wanted to eat more apples what would I need to do?
Go to the store and buy apples that I like eating.
Store them outside of the fridge in a fruit basket/bowl where they are easily accessible to me.
Better yet, have a spot in my office for a fruit basket where I can keep fruit easily accessible.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
A problem like “being overweight” is not really “A” problem. It is a result of about 10,000 problems we have in our lives in the “health & fitness” category of our lives. You can’t solve “being overweight”. It’s too large of an issue. You have to break it down into smaller chunks and solve them one at a time.
The challenge is that if we don’t value “Health and Fitness” as a category of our lives where we put a lot of energy, then we will be too lazy to break the “issue” down into smaller enough chunks for them to be able to be solved.
How to Solve Money Problems
There’s no such thing as a “money problem”. Money problems are a result of a lot of other problems which all combine to produce one big problem called being broke and in debt.
You can’t solve the “money problem” by itself. You can’t put “fix money problem” on your TO DO list and then just fix it.
You have to break things down and see what the REAL underlying problem really is.
Here are some “TODO” items that you could potentially put on your list of things to do which could help with your money problems:
purchase a book on budgeting
read first chapter of book on budgeting
have a conversation with spouse about budget
put stuff in garage on Craig’s List and sell it
call credit card company and negotiate lower rate
See, all these action steps can be taken one at a time and they are simple enough that we can either DO them or NOT DO them.
They are things that can be done and completed as a single event in time.
Solving the “money problem” is not something that can be checked off your “TO DO” list. Even if you won the lottery today, you would still have the “money problem” – it would just be a different money problem.
You may have a problem with taxes, or with finding the right investment adviser to invest that money with you, or you may have the problem of trying to figure out your estate planning etc.
Either way, the “money problem” is never done, completed, finished, just like the “health and fitness” problem is never done, completed, finished.
You can’t “complete” health and fitness.
You can’t say “Ok, check, I’ve finished being healthy and fit, now I’m done for the rest of my life.”
Same thing with money. You can never SOLVE the “money problem”. It’s unsolvable.
You can “renegotiate mortgage with bank”, or “open up a savings account” or “complete taxes” etc. Those are single action steps that can be completed.
How to Make Money Online
Lately I’ve been thinking about how to drastically increase the amount of money I make online.
As in how do I grow my income into the seven figures.
That’s when I realized that “making money online” is NOT a problem that can be solved.
There’s no such thing as having a “making money online” problem.
It’s not something I can just “do” and check off my TO DO list.
I started to really break things down and ask myself, what exact specific steps do I need to take next to increase my online income?
Do I need to create more products?
Do I need to find ways to build more traffic?
Do I need to connect with more JV partners?
Do I need to create more content?
And then of course within each of those problems we can break things down into smaller action steps as well.
Until we break down a problem into single, actionable pieces that we can DO or NOT DO, then we’ll never solve the overall problem itself.
The Secret to Solving All Problems
The secret to solving all problems in life lies in our ability to identify the root causes of the overall problem itself.
The more clarity we can bring to identifying the actual “sticking point” we are getting stuck on, the higher the chances of solving the problem itself.
I dare you to try an experiment right now.
Take ANY problem area you have in your life right now.
Then, break it down into smaller problems, drilling down to a single action step within that overall problem which you can either DO or NOT DO.
For example, right now one problem I have is growing my online income to seven figures. That’s an overall problem.
Now, if I quickly break down just one sub problem within that set down to it’s smallest root cause I could have something like this:
need to produce more quality content on a more consistent basis (still too big)
need to create more videos (still too big)
need to create my next video (still too big)
need to clean up my desk before making next video (still too big)
need to take my dishes upstairs (BINGO)
See, an action step like “take dishes upstairs” is an ACTIONABLE item that I can either DO or NOT DO.
Try it right now… take ANY big problem you want to desperately solve in your life.
Now break it down, further and further and further until you have just one single action step which you can either DO or NOT DO.
Now write down that action step on a piece of paper.
Now here’s the real “secret”…
Now that you’ve broken down your big problem into a small, tiny action step you can either DO or NOT DO, and you’ve written it down on a piece of paper… how motivated are you to do that action step and cross it off as “done”?
Which do you think is easier for me to take action on:
(a) Make a six figure income online.
(b) Take my dishes upstairs.
Now what if you broke down ALL your “problems” into small, tiny, actionable steps you could either DO or NOT DO.
If you can do that… if you can break down your problems into actionable action steps you can either DO or NOT DO, then you will be about 95% of the way towards solving that particular problem.
The secret is in the ability to break down your problems, not in solving them. Solving is easy once you know what you’re solving.
Details are the “secret”.