Sunday, January 24, 2010

Gotta remind myself constantly: "I am a Solutions-Oriented-Man, and not a Muddled-by-Problems-Wuss!"

Earlier today on my way back from the City on the PATH train, an elderly woman accosted me and started speaking in Spanish. Couldn't make much out of her conversation other than "New Jersey, New Jersey". There were only 3 other people in the train-car; I turned to them and asked if they could speak Spanish, and none of them could. Tried to help the old lady by showing her the train map when the train had stopped at Hoboken station. That seemed to quiet her down for a while, and I got back to my book.

A while later, the woman was again very agitated, and I and a Chinese woman tried to help her again, to no avail. The old woman finally got out at the Grove St. Station.

Thinking about it a little later, the answer to how I could have helped her stuck me almost immediately - all I had to do was to take her to the other train-cars and see if there were any Spanish-speakers there; within one or two train-cars, we would have found someone and the old-lady's problems would have solved. Too bad the solution came too late for her benefit.

Looking back in time, I can come up with many instances where I did not come up with a workable solution at the time of need, and was left ruing later for the opportunity missed. Even now, looking at many issues I am dealing with, there are quite a few examples that show my muddled-thinking nature, rather than problem-solving nature.

It boils down to the context I hold about my problem solving capabilities. I gotta stop being embroiled and fascinated by a problem all the time, and focus on solving the problems. And stop worrying about it if it is not a big deal.

Also, it helps to seek support from friends in dealing with any problem - brings a new perspective and makes it much more manageable, and likely to be solved rather than become 'the thing'.

Here is an action I am taking on:
Put up a few notices all over my place to remind myself constantly "I am a Solutions-Oriented-Man, and not a Muddled-by-Problems-Wuss!". And also share this with my friends so that they can remind me this when I am not being a Solutions-oriented-man.

2 comments:

sriks7 said...

Why did you not try google translate on your iPhone?

prakash murthy said...

@Srikanth : Good suggestion; does not work on PATH trains though as there is no cellphone coverage through the network other than at a couple of stations.