The way you approach issues, obstacles, and situations greatly determines your level of success or failure. A popular Harvard study has shown that people with genius level of intelligence have a systematic way in which they resolve whatever they encounter along their path towards their goals. Problems need to be resolved quickly and efficiently, so let’s have a look at the 5 steps that can help you accomplish just that:

Solutions exist
The first step is to believe that there is a solution. Without this belief, you cannot go to step 2 and thus you fail. Every situation, any issue you can think of, there IS a solution. Always carry this belief within you, anything can and will be fixed. When it comes to finding a solution, always think that it’s a matter of when not if.

Write out the situation
Take a moment and write down everything you can think of about this particular issue that needs to be resolved. You will notice that the more information you write, the clearer it will start becoming, and the easier it will be for you to find the most appropriate solution. The better you understand a situation, the more likely you are to fix it effectively. This is how they resolve issues in corporate meetings and even how they solve crimes; they write everything they can think about on a big board and start connecting dots.

Find the root cause
Once you have written down everything you can think of, ask yourself the following question: “what caused this to happen?” Remember from step 1, that there is always an answer so always believe that you can answer this question. There may be a multitude of answers to that question, and write each one of those down. Now you will have a better view of what really transpired and how it got to that point.

Identify all solutions
Now that you have a list of everything that is potentially a cause of your issue, you can start to easily figure out a solution for each one of them. For example, let’s say I run a store and sales of bicycles are down. That’s my problem. While writing down the causes, I find that the closest competitor has 15% cheaper prices. So my solution then would be to either make my prices more competitive or accentuate the reasons why my bikes are at a premium (such as better quality, longer lasting, etc.). As you can see, you will end up with a solution to each and every one of the “causes”.

Set a deadline
This is where most people fail to follow through. Would you believe that finding the solutions isn’t the step that people have the most trouble with? It’s actually the part where you have to take action! Most of the time, people KNOW what they have to do, they just don’t do it. So, to avoid you falling into this trap, set up a deadline for which you will have this issue taken care of. Stick to it no matter what, carve it in stone if you have to!

Now try it with any issues you may be dealing with now. You will see how effective this is, and surprisingly, how quick you end up fixing it. You now have a blueprint to use whenever you are faced with a problem. Just use this formula and the rest will be a piece of cake ;)