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Dealing with Problems

by Ken McIsaac (15 December 2001)

There are many ways to solve personal and work problems that have been written by great thinkers of the past and best-selling authors of today. Often words written two thousand years ago are more effective than words written today, perhaps because they have withstood the test of time.

This lesson will provide some ideas concerning overcoming problems and challenges.

Tips and thoughts

Problems or difficulties can cause worrying.


Ancient Roman writer Lucius Seneca (4 BC - 65 AD) wrote,

"Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body."

Cut down worrying

To cut down on worrying about making a decision, analyze the situation, determine what must be done and carry it out. In writing or on your PC:

Get all the facts.
Describe the problem in detail.
List all the possible solutions.
List the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Detail what you will do.
Follow through.

Consider all viewpoints

With personal and work problems, consider all viewpoints, even those you initially do not want to consider. Take step one and move slowly to complete the first task, after which the next steps will become easier. Don't mountain climb over molehills.

Have a goal

"Our plans miscarry if they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind." Lucius Seneca

After decision is made

Often we will still worry after the decision is made, which of course is of no help at all. "When once a decision is made and execution is the order of the day, dismiss absolutely all responsibility and care about the outcome." William James (1842-1910)


Rejection can be an unpleasant experience, but it just lets us know that we are imperfect human beings, and it is a chance to learn something. We have to let it go by as easily as we can and confidently carry on.


"What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing." Aristotle

Learn from others how to solve your problems

Resources and references

The following material are resources for this lesson:


Ken McIsaac is a retired design technician who now resides in the beautiful Fraser Valley of British Columbia, with his wife Jennie. Ken now spends time reading and writing about self-help. This article is excerpted from his free online book "32 KEYS A Collection of Ideas About Life" which is classified into 32 basic ideas on the subject of improving the quality of life.

Ken can be reached at his website.

Online book

"32 KEYS A Collection of Ideas About Life" by Ken McIsaac

Students and researchers

The Web address of this page is:

Please include it as a link on your website or as a reference in your report, document, or thesis.

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