More than ever before, in the past years, humans as individuals or collectivities are faced with the greatest amount of problematic situations and now more than ever there is a quest to develop new ways and manners to cope with life. No succeeding in such quests might even cost us the lost of our identity and balance in the middle of a rushing society that not only encourages the best, but tends to eliminate anything that is proven to be the weak link. But the fact is that ‘weak links’ have to survive in one way or the other, struggling for existence and for reaching the standards of our social and economic life. Like anyone in great difficulty, people try to get the best out of a situation and not to give up so easily. From yoga to ‘gain quick money’ programs, from costly psychological treatments to holidays in exotic places, various individuals try to find various ways to overcome their issues.
When given a certain strategy to solve problems, people can choose between two very popular approaches that might seem to some extent the unique manner of solving issues. The ones that promote these methods tend to think they have exclusivity in the area and their approach is viewed as the one and only solution. Nevertheless, experience shows us that these two approaches and not only similar, but also inseparable in real life. The first method is considered to be the positive thinking approach while the second one requires more supposed involvement and it is known as the action method.
The first approach regards people as potential increasers of their perception of themselves and of the way this influences their further behavior. As Steve Brunkhorst mentions in his well-known article Setting High Personal Standards, the ones that view themselves as winners tend to set high standards for dealing with problems ( Brunkhorst 16). When we come across issues like, whether it is fair or not that some things happen to us, the right thinking can set us on the right track. It is believed that the wrong approach of unconsciously giving up the fight comes from the wrong patterns of thought. For example, there is the well-known image of the half full or half empty glass of water. The issue itself is not the water inside the glass, but how we perceive the glass itself from our perspective and even from the circumstances we are in. The positive perspective can make the difference. But positive thinking is not acquired instantly through reading an inspirational book or following the basic 10-step strategy, but by developing a day-by-day full understanding of what is going on inside our life and appreciating reality from the opportunities it indulges, not through the sorrows it might bring. The high standards of thought and living that we establish at a certain moment in life, as being our guideline, can eventually lead us to success. But what must be taken into consideration is that not simple thought can change our life. It is true, what we think can have a great influence on how we act, but let’s face it without any acting our good intentions can only be useful to pave the road to our own hell.
The concept of positive thinking is brought further on in our daily life through a complex pattern of choices and actions. After the problem was identified and inside our mind we achieved to overcome it, another logical, yet difficult step is to be followed. Each one is invited to actually change something in the way of acting accordingly to the new positive thinking gained. If the thoughts are not sustained by actions than it is in vain to try reaching a goal that you never believe in. In the first chapter of the Online Self-Help Book, the two scholars Mark Dombeck and Jolyn Wells-Moran dedicate more half of the book to the actions that must be completed in order to have success with your self-helping process. They mention that to avoid taking action on problems is useless because nothing happens when you do this except that your thoughts go round and round. ( Dombeck, Wells 4) It starts by changing your behavior mood, knowledge, relationships, motivation and finally when all these are renewed, the process of creating a self-help plan can begin. Of course, self-help does not imply the lack of the items of advice given by our most dear and competent ones.
The design of a self-help plan is probably the best solution when it comes to solving problems. Such an action plan is efficient because it does not give us all the answers right away, but because it lets us identify and admit the fact that we are dealing with a problem and we need to get out of it. The plan is focused on our needs and it is the reflection of exactly the things we have identified as the solution to our personal and particular problem. There can be backtracks or hesitation when it comes to following step by step the management strategy that we have imposed. But here is the key of solving problems, we must understand to ourselves and therefore we shall know better all the weak and strong points we have. An action plan teaches us who we are, develops us and moreover fills us with the joy that we can do it on our own.
There are the little things that we do when it comes to solving problems that matter and also there are the great issues that make us better and more competitive. However, problems should not be regarded as dead-end, but as new and complex opportunities to move forward and to learn something new as days pass. The secret is not to look back but always to stay focused on the good that is about to occur.
Brunkhorst, Steve. “Setting High Personal Standards”. EzineArticles 22 Feb. 2005: 16.
Dombeck, Mark; Wells-Moran, Jolyn. “Online Self-Help Book”. MentalHelp 26 Jun. 2006: 4.