Problem Solving is Over-Rated. Try Problem-Finding Instead!


Anyone can problem solve. But the real talent is in seeing the problems in the first place.


Problem-solving is over-rated. Think about it: the problem-finders are the people who change the world. The ability to problem-solve is over-rated. Seeing the problem is where the action is!

  1. Scientists are professional problem finders.
  2. Young children are the absolute best problem finders. They can tear up a room faster than I can eat an ice cream cone. And I really like ice cream.
  3. Teenagers are guaranteed problem finders. Just ask their parents. 
  4. Report cards are magnets for problem finding. Just ask my kids.
  5. Annual evaluations at work are surefire seasons of problem finding. These problem-finding occasions make us sleepless and unhappy.
  6. Police, especially traffic cops find problems for a living. “Sir, do you know how fast you were going?”
Problem-finders are the people who change the world. The ability to problem-solve is over-rated. Seeing the problem is where the action is!

The one thing these folks have in common is that they highlight problems. If we don’t accurately see our problems, we cannot change anything. Being honest with ourselves can change how we see addiction and recovery, our relationships, our bodies and our work.

As I tell my coworkers, “Feedback can change your life, if you let it.” Problem finding can change you, just like negative thinking.

Most mental illnesses and addictions can be seen as deficits in problem-solving. Russ Barnes

Remember that your past is not a problem, it is just a perspective. For more on this, click on the link. 

I write articles about wellness, leadership, parenting and personal growth. My hope is to deliver the best content I can to inspire, to inform and to entertain. Sign up for my blog if you want to receive the latest and best of my writing. If you like what I have to say, please share my work with your friends.

Lastly, if you like my writing, you can click here to vote for my page on Psych Central’s list of mental health blogs.

Keep it Real

Previously published at The Good Men Project

Photo by Christine Schmidt

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