The Problem with Challenges

The great stimulant to creativity is pressing problems. The problem is that in today’s business world people are living in denial. (Sadly most people think that denial is a river in Egypt, as Zig Ziglar said). They are in denial that problems exists. ‘Problem’, is a dirty word. So you can’t say to your boss, ‘I have a problem’, you have to say, ‘I have a challenge’. The problem is, though, that you don’t have a challenge, you have a problem.

Climbing Mount Everest is a challenge; you don’t have to do it. You can rise to the challenge or let it go. So if you had a challenge you don’t actually need to tell your boss, you could just let it go. But if your challenge is really a problem then you can’t let it go. A problem is different. A problem needs a solution and like a mathematical problem, there is always a solution.

Softening words in this way doesn’t help. People may think it’s positive thinking but it’s not. It’s denial. Positive thinking is about seeing the world as it really is and acting accordingly. Real positive thinking does not deny that there are weeds in your garden. If the weeds are a challenge then you could simply decide that you don’t really want to face them. If the weeds are a problem then you have to decide what the solution is.

Positive thinking lets you survey the reality of the weeds and plan the best way of pulling them up without dwelling on the fact.

‘Problem’ is not a dirty word. It is a proud and honourable word. Face your problems with pride, confidently, expectantly, with the attitude that there exists a logical, practical solution just waiting to be found. The most creative people have a relaxed attitude of confident expectancy that causes their minds to function in original and imaginative ways. Face up to the problem and focus on finding the solution.

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5 comments on “The Problem with Challenges

  1. Ayd this is a great blog
    Yep, I agree a problem is a problem, it can only bring one thing…………..creativity to get us to the solution!!
    Love it when a negative leads to a positive
    speak soon Lynn


  2. You have highlighted the fundamental ‘problem’ with positive psychology that I take one step further… acceptance. Accepting a problem is the first step to implementing a positive solution. To ignore it is just plain fool hardy.


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