focus

Focus On The Solution, Not The Problem

It is funny how you learn a lot about life from very weird places. My lecturer in my Computer Architecture class taught me to focus more on the solution than the problem. At first, I simply laughed it off thinking it was much better to focus on the problem than the solution, but in the end, thinking back now to how he said it, it made more sense.

The solution to the problem is what everyone needs. No one needs to be reminded of the problem. Thinking more about the solution seems to set your mind more on solving the problem while focusing on the problem simply sets your mind on the problem. It reminds me of the story of Bata.

At the end of the nineteenth century, just as colonial Africa was opening up as a market, all the manufacturers of shoes in Victorian England sent their representatives to Africa to see if there might be an opportunity there for their wares. All duly came back in time with the same answer. ‘Nobody in Africa wears shoes. So, there is no market for our products there.’

All, that is, save for the Bata rep. He came back saying, ‘Nobody in Africa wears shoes. So, there’s a huge market for our products in Africa!’

This completely makes sense since there was a group that saw the problem. It was not a crime to mention the problem, but then the ones who took it best were those that did not focus on the problem, but decided to go the other way. Focus on the solution. As the world keeps changing everyday, new problems abound, but you indeed have a choice, to either be part of the problem or join the solution.

Look at the case of Google. Information around the world was becoming much and needed to be organized in a way that people could easily access and use it. Rather than focus on the problem of data becoming too much, they focused on developing a solution that helps rank data based on their usage.

Many more examples abound around the world today. Look closer into your environment and decide which it is going to be. Solution or the problem? In the end it matters that we provide solutions as the problems of our community does not seem an ever ending one.

You could look at the case of migration issues in the United States. Many see the case as a problem, as an individual, you can decide to see it as a problem or find a solution. You can also look at the case of corruption in Nigeria and other countries around the world, you can choose to see the problem or find a solution. The choice is entirely yours.

Start small today and begin to help find solutions rather than finding more problems. Be more solution-oriented, find more solutions, solve more problems.