Monday, November 22, 2010

Rationality - Your Ally for Problem Solving

“Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.” 
- Henri Bergson, French philosopher (1859-1941)

When problems arise, look for answers. If you want to be effective, look trouble in the eye and listen to the cool, calm voice of reason.

When facing a difficult situation, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by anxiety, anger or other negative feelings. If you imagine that something bad will happen, you could become paralyzed and end up doing nothing. Inaction will reinforce your fears, and you might end up lashing out at others in frustration.

Emotions are real and vital, and you should always be in touch with your instincts and intuition. But it’s important to consider logical and practical considerations as a balance when you’re reacting to what’s going on around you. The combination of the two can lead to better decisions and more effective action.

So when you’re in a tough position, instead of focusing on the worst possible outcome, step back and ask yourself two questions.

First - "What's causing me to worry or feel afraid?"

And second - "How can I check whether these feelings are warranted?"

Addressing these questions will help you calm down, because you have to engage the logical part of your brain to answer them. And most likely, you’ll handle the situation well.

Remember, you have the ability to apply common sense and sound judgment to any challenge you face.

A Fortune Cookie...

Pay attention to what reason teaches, or she’ll rap you on the knuckles.

The story behind the Fortune Cookies...

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength .

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