Each Warrior wants to leave the mark of his will, his signature, on important acts he touches. This is not the voice of ego but of the human spirit, rising up and declaring that it has something to contribute to the solution of the hardest problems, no matter how vexing!
– Pat Riley
Everyone faces challenges. They’re a part of a life lived to the fullest. Once you realize that, the next job you have is to determine how to solve those challenges in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Let me introduce you to my R.E.L.A.X. Blueprint for Problem Solving. It has helped a great many people focus in on what is truly troubling them and move forward immediately with a “fix” to the situation.
THE R.E.LA.X. BLUEPRINT
Let’s start with the basic foundation. R.E.L.A.X. is an acronym; a word formed from the letter of the system itself:
R – Restless
E – Enumerate
L – Light-Up
A – Appreciate
X – “X” marks the spot
Now, let’s dig deeper.
“R” stands for RESTLESS. When you feel and uneasy, that is the very time to start understanding what you are really unsatisfied with. Why are you discontent? What isn’t going your way? What isn’t enough? What more do you want? This is the time to start discovering what your supposed “problem” is really about.
“E” stands for ENUMERATE. When you enumerate something, you are itemizing and specifying information, items, people, data, etc. into a comprehensive and understandable list. You are also taking the time to separate out a larger group of “something” into individual characteristics.
“L” stands for LIGHT-UP. You can’t see in the dark. Things begin to take shape and become understandable when you shine light on them. Here you are going to demystify a challenge and illuminate the real difficulties. In other words, this is the time to shine a light on your personal bogeyman so that you know what you have to do battle with.
“A” stands for APPRECIATE. Once you recognize the obstacles, challenges, and difficulties, it’s time to start treasuring the process of sorting it all out. This is the brainstorm part of the process; the time when you let your imagination run free, your logic give input, and flashes of inspiration go wild. This is the creation part of the blueprint.
“X” stands for “X” MARKS THE SPOT. When someone says, “X marks the spot,” it is a way of saying “Here is precisely where something or someone is.” In other words, your target has been identified and you now know where to go and what to do to get there. Think of it as the “X” on a pirate’s map that shows you where the treasure has been hidden.
Please note that, no matter how much of an overachiever you might be, these five blueprint steps are intended to be followed in the precise order given.
So are you ready to put these five blueprint components together?
STEP 1. Take any challenge that you face and first ask yourself, “What am I discontent about?” Write down everything that you are unhappy about, discontent over, and hungry for. This is the GET REAL stage of the blueprint. And this is the purging part – so get all that boredom, displeasure, and disappointment out of your system right now and onto a piece of paper.
STEP 2. Once you have gotten concrete on the challenges that you face, now start writing down exactly what you know about the challenge. You want to be as pinpointed and precise as you can be. Don’t make things up. Only put down what you know to be real and true from your perspective. You will find an interesting thing developing at his early stage, by the way; namely, you will start to discover that you may have been telling yourself or letting others tell you stories that have no basis in fact.
STEP 3. Now you start to combine the challenge you set forth in Step 1 with the truth you have discovered in Step 2. As you start to compare and combine the information from Steps 1 and 2, this is where you begin to straighten out what the challenge or problem you thought you were facing when you started this process really is. The challenge that you identify in Step 3 may, in fact, turn out to be completely different than what you thought your situation was.
STEP 4. When you have a crystal clear description of what the real challenge is that you are facing, now is the time to brainstorm solutions. Take a separate piece of paper and begin to daydream how you can solve what you have identified. Treat your challenge as a puzzle and something that is fun to resolve.
STEP 5. Choose the best solution you have some up with and start to take action IMMEDIATELY. Remember, getting to something “later” usually means that your “later” turns into “never.” You don’t ever want to walk away from the R.E.L.A.X. Blueprint without figuring out the “X Marks the Spot” element.
Successful people take charge of their lives by resolving their challenges in ways that serve them well. You know have a powerful tool to do just that! Happy treasure hunting.
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