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5. The Problem-solving response

 

Artist Name - STREN 39 THE PROBLEM SOLVING SENTENCE.mp3

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 The Problem-solving response transcript

Today’s stren considers the fourth of the eight choices available to our will power to transform information into action.  I have labeled this stren the problem-solving sentence because it is supported by common sense and our acquired knowledge of the universal law of cause and effect.  It is the most certain choice among the alternative actions available to our will to bring about what we want and avoid what we don’t want. 

The “Magical” problem-solving sentence is our powerful mental resource to wisely manage our life’s experience.  I urge you to regularly use this sentence:  

Given this situation, what is most likely to get what I want, for both my and your benefit (or both our and their benefit), for both now and in the future?  

 

While not actually “magic,” this simple, elegant, easy to learn sentence is so effective, it seems like magic.  Notice, no one, no “something” is being blamed.  Energy is directed to resolving and/or making the best deal with the challenging issue.  With repetition, we make the universal problem-solving sentence habitual, virtually automatic, and effortless.  This common sense problem-solving newer way of thinking will gradually displace the six negative action pathways.  Even if we don’t actively work to get rid of the negative action patterns, they will gradually atrophy from disuse.   

The problem-solving sentence applies both...and processing of information that promotes common sense solutions to the challenges we face.  Both...and replaces the either/or thinking we all first learn when our brain lacks the maturity and experience to use common sense wisdom.  Either/or processing of information distorts reality into two opposing categories such as good or evil, right or wrong, my side or not my side, and so on.   Such “dichotomous” thinking biases us to focus on our differences.  Two-category thinking is hardwired into our mental action pathways by instinct as determined by nature, and tradition as determined by our nurturers. Once either/or processing of information is programmed into our intelligent brain through repetition, it persists.  Two-category thinking remains our dominant action pathway until we attain physical maturity and teach ourselves sufficient common sense wisdom.      

Either/or thinking is characteristic of instinct, tradition, and human dictators who demand that there is a right way – naturally their own – and therefore all others are categorized as unacceptable.  We can hardly expect that nations, religions, politicians, or neighbors will peacefully collaborate for their mutual interests when stuck in either/or thinking.  Bigotry, prejudice, destructive confrontation, and war will persist until we attain a preponderance of the both...and thinking that applies common sense to recognize our similarities and shared interests.     

 The essential elements in the universal problem-solving sentence are as follows: 

1.      It emphasizes the long-term as well as the short-term consequences of today’s actions.   Getting into the habit of addressing future consequences causes us to consider alternatives.  Thinking before acting is most likely to create common sense solutions instead of the older solutions that are hard-wired by instinct and tradition for immediate or automatic response.  Applying universal common sense replaces impulsive harmful action with prevention. 

2.      The problem-solving sentence addresses benefits to others as well as to one’s self.  When each party has a sense of accomplishment there is a foundation for future collaboration and progress for mutual gain.  Traditionally, individuals think they have done well when they attain a distinct advantage, when they’ve “beat” the other party.  Short-term gain often results in longer-term pain when one or more parties walk away dissatisfied.  Win/lose confrontations often come back to haunt us.  In win/win solutions, all parties feel they have accomplished what is reasonable given the circumstances.      

3.      By focusing on what might work to bring about a mutually desired outcome, each party can rely on universal common sense.  The common sense test simply asks if reasonable people of different backgrounds and interests would come to similar conclusions regarding fairness.  The bullying and self-serving interests of individuals usually will be readily exposed when a consensus by different groups can be reached regarding fairness. 

Our world is in trouble because most people look at life’s challenges through the immature either/or way of thinking that focuses on differences.  Who will be the winner?  What is in the best interest of my local priority regardless of the consequences to the global community?  As you become more familiar with the strens in this series, you will see how they mutually support and strengthen effective problem-solving outcomes. 

Even if you don’t understand the importance of making the magical problem-solving sentence a routine way of dealing with life’s challenges, by using it, you will experience huge benefits.  It is so easy to learn and to apply.  Here it is again.  Plant it in your mind. 

Given this situation, what is most likely to get what I want, for both my and your benefit (or both our and their benefit), for both now and in the future?  

 

I look forward to our next meeting when I want to share more about another action pathway that you will love: self-endorsement.

4. The Avoidance Response
6. The Self-endorsement Response

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