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A First Step of Solving Almost Every Problem

A First Step of Solving Almost Every Problem

One of the biggest reasons why people struggle with solving problems is because they often overlook this critical first step.

Because no matter what the problem is or what the circumstance, you’re best hope for solving it almost always requires the exact same beginning.

You have to take ownership of the problem.

You have to internalize responsibility for your problem.

You have to resolve that regardless of how the problem came to be, it’s both your duty and your ability to find the solution.

It’s not something that you rely on someone else or something else to solve.

Because until you own your problem you can’t own your solution.

When you encounter a problem that you believe is the result of something outside yourself, then you will never be able to have power over that problem.

It is something that is happening to you of which you are just a bystander and a spectator.

By definition, its outside your control.

But when you own your problem, when you take responsibility for its existence, and when you decide that you’re in charge of fixing it, things start to change.

You stop viewing it as something that is occurring to you and you start viewing it as something you can maneuver.

You stop experiencing it and you start influencing it.

You stop being affected by it and you start affecting it.

Once you own your problem, you create the opportunity to find the solution.

Because if it happened to you through no fault of your own, then you are just an unfortunate victim of circumstances that are beyond your control.

But If you decide that you played some part in creating it, and you own it as your fault, then you can play the lead role in solving it.

And even if you didn’t create the problem. Even if the problem did result from something outside your control. You can still do something about it.

There are always things within your control that you can do. So do those things and never let any problem be an excuse for why you don’t focus on what is in your control.

While you can’t always control whether or not problems show up, you can always control how you respond to them and what you do about them.

One way or another, your life is your fault.

So own the problem.

Then own the solution.

Don’t be a Quitter

don't be a quitter

There is a problem with many people in the world today.

They are quitters.

They quit too easily.

They give up too soon.

They bail without much of a fight.

Sure they create problems for those left behind once they quit.

They leave their friends, their teams, their employers, their spouses or whoever behind to pick up the pieces.

But the problem isn’t for their team or their employers. Teams and employers will be fine. They’ll find another person. They’ll fill the position.

And people are tough so the ones abandoned usually figure out their challenges and solve their problems.

The problem is for the quitter.

Quitters never learn to fight. They never learn to stick it out. They never learn to overcome challenges.

Most of all, they never learn what they are capable of.

They never give themselves a chance to prove to themselves that they can overcome odds and that they can rise above.

And so they never develop the grit, the perseverance, and the self-confidence to know they can take tough situations and make them better.

They don’t do everything that can be done to fix the problems they are facing.

Instead they just quit.

They give up on their dream.

They give up on their team.

It’s one thing to leave something when you’ve done everything in your power to change it and it still doesn’t work out.

Or to leave someone when they aren’t willing to to do the work with you to create a better future.

Or to move on from some path that is unhealthy or misaligned with who you were meant to be.

But it’s completely different to just give up on something because it is hard.

Too often people leave what they have in search for something better when they haven’t yet maximized their current opportunity. They haven’t put everything they have into making their current situation the best it can be. They haven’t gone all in on making it work in the first place.

Instead they just avoid the conflict, they dodge the challenge, and they abandon the struggle by quitting and moving onto something else.

That is the classic mindset of uncommitted people: they convince themselves that some other path would be easier.

Maybe if I had a different spouse…

Or a different goal…

Or a different boss…

Or a different ________.

That’s the lure they use on themselves.

And many times they’ll even justify it as being smart or savvy that bouncing from place to place, commitment to commitment, circumstance to circumstance thinking that they will get a small step up everywhere they go.

But it isn’t really true.

Sure you might make small short term incremental improvements but you don’t make monumental leaps without sticking around and going all in on something.

Improving your situation is much more frequently the byproduct of improving yourself then it is of changing your circumstances.

The problem usually isn’t your friend, or your job, or your boss, or anything else.

Chances are the problem has a lot to do with you.

You haven’t done everything you can to fight it out and fix it.

You haven’t really tried to make it better.

You haven’t communicated what your struggling with and asked for the help of the people around you.

And so you’re giving up too early.

Greatness takes time.

Greatness takes persistence

Greatness takes patience.

Greatness takes perseverance.

Quitters don’t win.

Winners don’t quit.

You Are Being Prepared

Each day we have tests, trials, tragedies, and tribulations. We have setbacks, failures, mistakes and misconnects.

The things we want don’t always work out, and sometimes we end up working a whole lot more than we want.

But what if
That pain you are struggling with…
That fear that you are facing…
That broken dream that is falling apart…

is really an opportunity for you to model to the world what character looks like in the face of challenge.

What if that circumstance is a chance for you to demonstrate faithfulness and trust that God’s plan is bigger than your plan?

What if that challenge that you are in the middle of is strengthening you for the person you need to become someday?

It doesn’t make it easier but keep in mind… pain is often the proof that you are being prepared for something greater that you still have left to do.

Disruptive Heroes

In this post I discuss one of my disruptive heroes, my favorite disruptive change, and my biggest disruptive struggle. Comment and let me know who your disruptive heroes are, your favorite disruptive change or your biggest disruptive struggle!

30 Days of Discipline – Not B.A.D.D. Contest for a Free iPad® Mini!

Struggling with self-discipline is universal. Our recent study proved that it doesn’t matter how old you are, what your ethnicity is, how much money you make, where you live, what your education level is, or whether or not you have kids – we all struggle with self-discipline.

We also know that most people (51%) set specific resolutions and want to improve their lives but as time goes on they believe less and less that they ever will (71% of 18-34 year olds set goals but only 43% of people 35 and up do).

With 65% of people admitting defeat in the first 30 days of making their resolutions and 18% giving up on a resolution within 24 hours, all this evidence points to one thing…

We are quick to lose hope.

Amidst all of the discouragement and heartbreak of setting goals though, there is a resoundingly clear finding that can provide refuge to all of us:

76% of people who followed through on a resolution for 30 days are STILL

following through on that resolution 1 year later!

That is significant because that means that if you can just tough it out for 1 month, you are 3x more likely to have that change be permanent in your life! So here is the question…

If you knew for sure that making one change in your life for the next 30 days would guarantee that it would stay that way forever – could you do it?

I hope you would think “yes”. You can do anything for 30 days. 30 days is nothing. 30 days fly by. Think about where you were 30 days ago… doesn’t it seem like time has flown by fast since then? Not to mention that if you are asleep approximately 1/3 of that time then that’s really more like 22 days.

If you knew you could fix your marriage forever by making some sacrifices for the next 30 days…

If you knew you could get yourself into a physical condition that you’d be proud of by paying the price for 30 days…

If you knew that changing your spending habits for 1 month would radically alter your financial future…

If you were sure that letting go of that 1 temptation for 30 days would likely mean it would leave your heart forever…

Would you do it?

I believe that you would and that you can and I want to help you by introducing you to an actual system that I use in my life every day.

Enter “The Not B.A.D.D. system”.

Anytime I’m looking to make a big change in my life I create a simple 5-point system of controllable activities to track each and every day. Being that weight and physical health is the number one change that people want to make, let’s talk in detail about my 5-point system for staying physically fit.

Each day I start off with 5 points. The goal on any given day is to keep as many of the 5 points as possible. Here is how my “Not B.A.D.D.” point system works:

–       B. Keep 1 point for not eating any bread items in a day (this includes chips, pretzels or any heavy white carbs)

–       A. Keep 1 point for not drinking any alcohol in a day (this also includes any carbonated beverages)

–       D. Keep 1 point for not eating dairy (milk, cheese, ice cream, etc.)

–       D. Keep 1 point for not eating dessert.

–       Lastly, I keep 1 additional point for working out at least 15 minutes per day (I typically do 500 sit-ups in the morning, pull-ups and/or pushups)

I’m not a registered nurse, dietician, doctor or Tony Horton, but I am someone who used to be 45 pounds heavier than I am right now and I’ve kept that weight off for 7 years of my life. For the vast majority of people – this system works!

I don’t care about the thing you read in a book about how a bit of red wine, and “cheat days” are good for you and don’t tell me how “milk does a body good”. And although I rarely get all 5 points in any given day, this is a system that works despite the fact that I travel on the road 175 days a year doing more than 80 speaking engagements.

I’m confident that the simplicity of this system will also work for you. More than anything though, I’m not promoting that this diet is the key; what is the key is latching onto any good system, tracking your progress daily and not letting go of it for at least 30 days.

The magic is in the commitment to 30 days. Do it for 30 days and you’ll find that your appetites begin to change, and what was once a struggle to get yourself to do later becomes the very thing your body craves. And what was once such a powerful indulgence for you later won’t even be much of a temptation.

Discipline is not as hard as you think when you know how to think about it the right way. And living with #dailydiscipline for the next 30 Days could just change the rest of your life.

To help encourage you to make a change in your life for the next #30Days, I’m going to be reporting my “Not B.A.D.D points” each day on my Facebook page and I’m inviting you to play along with me. As an extra incentive I’m also giving away cash and an iPad® mini!

Here’s how it works:

For each day you go to our Facebook page and post the number of (Not B.A.D.D.) points you scored that day, your name will be entered into a drawing to win cash or the grand prize of an iPad Mini!

At the end of every week, we’ll do a drawing of all the people who posted points for that week (maximum of 1 entry for each day you posted – 7 total possible entries per week) and one person will win a $50 Visa Gift Card each week!

Then for the grand prize at the end of the month, we’ll do a drawing of all the people who posted at least one entry over the course of the whole month (maximum of 30 total possible entries) and the winner of that drawing will take home a brand new 16 GB iPad® mini!

It doesn’t matter how many points you score each day, all that matters is the number of days you report your score on our Facebook page. The more days you post; the more chances you have to win!

Check out our Facebook page for official rules, details and to enter! Best to you in your next 30 Days of Discipline!

Enter the contest here!

Give Your New Year’s Resolutions another shot

Rory Vaden is a New York Times Bestselling author/self-discipline expert. He says give your New Year’s Resolutions another shot. It’s totally natural to lose steam a few weeks into a New Year’s resolution. First step: renew your intention.

Read the full article at!