10 things to do when stuck in a situation

July 30, 2012

Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.  – Alan Cohen (A prominent businessman from Florida)

Once you find yourself at a fork in the road, or clueless about which path to choose from – you wonder …..where should I begin this journey?  I have been there many time.  Sometime stuck or sometimes clueless.  I ask others and choose what fits in. You will be amazed how many resources are available for help and how different perspectives let you find the right solution. Choice is always yours, some times things work out as expected, other times you find out what does not work.  There is no template or documented way as we all have unique abilities and unique challenges. 

You have the solution, all you are doing is uncovering with the help of others. Because it is meant to be like that.

But when should you begin asking? After doing your home work. If you do not do your home work, you will be overwhelmed by choices and might be victim of analysis paralysis. Here are some thoughts to prepare you to ask help from others, in many cases you do many of these things in parallel:

  1. Use mind mapping technique to put thoughts, situation and desired result on paper.
  2. Talk to couple of your trusted friend and seek advice who has been in the similar situation.
  3. Check with a life coach, a professional mentor or an expert is situation requires professional input.
  4. Contemplate and jot down best-case and worst-case scenarios.
  5. Do on-line search, check out blogs, forums, libraries or book stores.
  6. Join a group, attend networking event, take a class where like-minded people will gather; or take a vacation, sleep well and go for a walk or jog with all the advice, a solution may pop-up automatically.
  7. Do not do all thinking in the head alone, jot down your thoughts and give them shape by arranging them as they make sense.
  8. Put a milestone chart for action steps. Start with question mark and end with desired outcome. Then fill with monthly and yearly milestone.
  9. Now describe what needs to be done to achieve those monthly and yearly milestones.
  10. Stay up-beat and keep focused.  Don’t be bothered about nay sayers. Per Nike’s tag line – just do it!

Any decision you take, remember Steven Covey’s 2nd principle – begin with the end in mind.  We all do most of the things but my experience working with others is that folks do not write or do not jot down any of the plan. You got to do it.

Further reading/references:

  1. Seven steps to problem solving – http://www.pitt.edu/~groups/probsolv.html
  2. What is mind-mapping – http://litemind.com/what-is-mind-mapping/
  3. Scenario planning – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scenario_planning

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