If my high school math teacher is right, then there is only one way to answer a math equation. Only one number out of all the other perfectly fine and acceptable numbers is the answer. All you have to do is find that number and you are golden. Life… is nothing like that. Solutions for problems in life are never that straightforward!

I don’t know about you but I rarely encounter questions in the real world that have such easy correct / incorrect answers. Think about ordering at a restaurant, what do you get? “Ohhh I like that, but what about THAT dish, ahhh that’s so good!” See, even the choice of what to eat is more complicated than a yes / no, and that’s if you can even choose the restaurant!

When it comes to the real world, there are very few answers that are cut-and-dried, so you need to be flexible. When faced with a problem, take time to really consider what is before you.

Here are 3 questions to help you start finding solutions for problems:

1. What are the pros and cons?

2. What is the impact on those around you? (While it may be a good choice for you, is it a good choice for them?)

3. What is the cost of the action or inaction?

If you can answer any of these questions within one minute, then you aren’t looking hard enough. Going back to my food ordering, let’s say I order pancakes. What are the pros? Well, you know… pancakes! What are the cons? It’s a lot of bread that’s just gonna make me feel too full. What’s the impact? Sophie is gluten free so she won’t be able to have any, even though she would totally want to because… pancakes. What is the cost? Eating something in front of someone who can’t have it, alienating them due to my choice, raising tension levels between us slightly, and being insensitive to her feelings. Is it worth it? No, it’s not. Sophie is worth more to me than any pancakes.

Next time you’re faced with a problem, I want you to take the time to think about it. Work through my three questions. Worst case scenario, you take a little more time to come to the same conclusion. Best case scenario, you see something that may help you make a better choice.

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