In a recent blog post, I spoke about finding solutions instead of getting stuck in a negativity pit. Yet, finding solutions is not always easy. Difficulties and challenges can be complex and hard to unravel, making it tricky to find not only a solution, but one that works.
Over the course of the last few years as my Mom has battled Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) we have faced challenges and had to seek solutions. Doing so took perseverance and in some cases courage to step outside what was comfortable to find solutions that would work. (One little side note. Many things have come one step at a time, finding one solution for an issue at one point in the disease and then later repeating the process to find another for issues that developed further on.) Here are some of the things that helped us as a family to find solutions that worked.
Prayer. Several of my siblings and I made it a matter of diligent prayer. We talked with God about our situation, told Him our needs, and asked Him to come through with a solution. He has been faithful to bring solutions each time.
Gather Information. We gathered information from a variety of sources. We used the internet and Googled for suggestions. We contacted The Office for the Aging and then followed up with other agencies they recommended. We talked with people – friends, people with experience in the field, doctors, and counselors. Really, we talked with anyone who we thought might have insights that would help us. We also read articles and books. Through all this we sought God’s guidance from Scripture and godly men and women who could provide counsel.
Brainstorm. As a family we talked, looking at the current needs and issues and discussing possible solutions. As a teacher, I would tell my students to list all the solutions they could think of, even those that seemed impossible or impractical. Sometimes the ones that seem impossible are the ones that actually spark another idea that is not only possible, but a good solution. While in our situation it was largely a group activity, it is certainly something that can be done by one person on their own as well.
Evaluate. As we looked at our potential solutions, we also evaluated them to determine which ones were realistic. This helped us to weed out the ones that really weren’t workable and to find those that were. As we talked and evaluated sometimes a whole new solution arose that was better than the individual ones we had started with. Again, this does not require a group, only some time and thinking.
Decide and Pursue. Lastly, once we had narrowed down the possible solutions to those that were realistic, we decided which ones to pursue first, often with some sense of priority. Then we set about to pursue the solution, doing what was needed to put it in place, tweaking as we went.
Sometimes our initial solution worked, sometimes, we had to look for others. A key factor through the whole process was prayer. Along with prayer was a willingness to pursue different solutions until we found the one that worked best.
This is one group of ideas, but there are other ways to find a solution.
What has helped you to find solutions to challenges you’ve faced?