How to Solve a Problem

I’m learning to be a critical thinker.  I’d like to show you how to apply critical thinking to achieving an AU degree.  You may want an undergraduate or graduate degree but feel apprehensive about pursuing one.  If so, here is a process for critical thinking you may benefit from applying:

First, you take that goal—finishing a university degree—and write out all the obstacles it yields.  Here is a potential list of barriers to the pursuit of an undergraduate or graduate degree:

  • I don’t have the time available for my loved ones.
  • I must work to finance the lifestyle I desire.
  • I won’t be healthy on a poor diet.
  • I might have anxiety attacks that thwart my goal.
  • I won’t have the office supplies I need to do a good job.
  • I’ve lost the excellent study habits I once had.

So, the next step is to invert those goals into their opposites.  So, this is what they now look like for getting a graduate or undergraduate degree:

  • I have the time available for my loved ones.
  • I finance most of the lifestyle I desire on a student income.
  • I am healthy on a lower income.
  • I know techniques to keep anxiety at bay.
  • I have all the office supplies I need.
  • I have more study skills now than ever.

So, now that we have these opposite objections, we can begin to solve them.  So, the basic idea is that you now have reverse objections.  And the goal is to live up to them.

To explain, let’s take the first one: How might you have all the office supplies you need?  You can gradually acquire all the essential office supplies you need before enrolling.  As another example, how might you learn techniques to keep anxiety at bay?  You could take part-time instead of full-time studies for the degree program.  And, yet another example, how might you fund the lifestyle you desire but on a lower income?  You could have an inexpensive home gym, a public library card, and a meditation routine.  Regardless of your preference, when you take the above steps to problem-solving, you can readily see that your dreams are realizable.

So, what if you had a goal of earning a million a year, although you are presently on low-income support?  Have you ever told someone you dreamed of making six figures, and they quipped back, “Why not a million?” With that in mind, here are three obstacles to the million a year salary goal.

  • I need to gain the skills for leadership roles in big companies.
  • I have disabilities that could hold me back.
  • I only do well in remote work.
  • I don’t want to give up exercise to perform at my peak at work.
  • I don’t know what jobs will take me to that goal.

The list goes on.  So, here are the opposites of the above:

  • I have a solid knowledge of the skills needed for leadership roles in big companies.
  • My disabilities benefit my income-earning potential.
  • I do well in remote and office work.
  • I exercise while I work, which helps me perform at my peak.
  • I know what jobs will take me to million dollar goal.

Then, take each one and find ways to realize them.  For instance, you can exercise at work by commuting on a bicycle or cycling under your desk.

So, that’s the start of a way to solve problems.  No problem can hold you back from trying to realize your dreams.  Honestly, I believe your potential has no upper limit.  And infinite opportunities are everywhere.