There are so many different ways to solve one problem. So often we look down the middle and see only one solution. One of my favorite personal quotes is, “There are many solutions to a problem, they may not all be good ones, but they are solutions.”
You are going to a friend’s house for dinner. And this is how it plays out.
I am so excited! We have not seen each other in over a month. As I back out of my drive and head down the road, I start thinking about sitting on the deck with my BFF after dinner and having a drink. I love spending time with her. We talk continually. We are true lifelong BFF’s. Tonight is a special night. She has something to tell me, and I don’t have a clue what it is.
My thought process comes to an immediate halt when I come to a roadblock. The little bridge up ahead is covered with water from the recent downpour. How will I get to my BFF? I have chilled wine and appetizers in my car that won’t stay perfect for very long.
There has to be a way. So I back up and head to an alternative route. But the real dilemma comes when I have to make a decision which route I will take. I can think of three other roads that can lead me there. I am thankful for that.
As I turn around, I start thinking about my options. One of the three other routes also has a bridge, but it will take me there on time. Do I take a chance on the second bridge? The second route has no bridge, I will only be ten minutes late, but the roads are more dangerous. The third way will put me behind 25 minutes, but it may get me there safely.
There is a fourth option to go back home and eat all of the appetizers and drink all the wine. But I will miss my BFF!
I chose a very simple problem to make my point. As you can see, there are five options to this obstacle. I could be so busy looking at the closed bridge that I just stop there and become immobile. I could be so anxious to get there that I take a chance on another bridge closing or take a dangerous road. I could take a long way around, but I would be late. Or I could just give up altogether and go back home.
This problem has solutions. Not all are good ones, but each one will accomplish the goal I set out to do except giving up.
When you have a problem that seems like an insurmountable force, step back and take a look at all of your options. There is always a way. If you only look ahead and down the middle, you may miss an altogether good solution to a difficult problem.
Remember that you may have to choose an answer that is not what you had in mind, but it may make your life easier down the road.