was recently challenged by someone I respect to be solution minded rather than problem focused.

To be honest, I’ve never given this much thought, but after some reflection I admit that I tend to focus on the problem. For example, I focus on the unwanted pounds more than the food choices

I make. I focus on the wrong item in the Amazon order instead of how to get the correct item to arrive. I focus on the list of how a person has offended me rather than seeking understanding and forgiveness.

This is an important awareness because what I focus on grows. It’s like my house plant. When life is busy, I often forget to give it water and it wilts. However, with a little focus and attention, the plant grows and flourishes. What I focus on in my life also grows and flourishes, whether that’s the problems I face or the solutions available to me.

I was once told, “What I’m not changing, I’m choosing.” Because I have a tendency to be focused on the problem and whose fault it is rather than on the solution and what other choices are available to me, I don’t often see the other choices available to me. Therefore, I am choosing to stay in the problem rather than choosing a solution.

When I identify the problem but quickly turn to the solution, it's amazing how my perspective can change. A solution minded perspective doesn’t have room for blame, victim-mentality, judgement or case building. A problem minded perspective doesn’t have room for happiness, contentment, and peace.

So, while I’m not much for new year’s resolutions, I do believe my goal for 2021 is to be solution minded. Hindsight is 20/20 and I did allow myself to focus on the problems of 2020. However, I can choose again and focus on solutions in 2021.

Contact Roxanne Converse-Whiting at roxanne@gothenburgleader.com, or call 308.536.6499