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Problem Solving 101

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One Sunday afternoon, I was having a chat about life and its challenges. I asserted that the problems of today should never be allowed to overwhelm us and dictate our tomorrows. After all, there is a solution for each problem that comes along.

Then, coincidentally, I received a text message from a young friend. He wanted some answers to a problem.

Mark: Hi, Uncle Sandy. I just found out. Yung chemist ko, yung sumulot is yung best friend ko. [My best friend poached my chemist.]

Me: Grabe. [Terrible.] (This is to show empathy.)

Mark: How do you get over that? Ganung betrayal. Parang trauma ako nito ah. [That kind of betrayal, it kind of traumatized me.]

Me: I remember advising you before: Don’t be too emotional. Never get too excited over success. Stay calm. You said you like the adrenaline rush. But I warned you, adrenaline can make you act irrationally. That’s where the problem usually arises. Best way to get over it is simple. Learn your lesson by writing down your experience as a personal case study and future reference.

The Breakdown
I think this is what happened to my friend Mark, or so I told him.

CAUSE: I excitedly told several people about the potential of my venture without considering the worst case scenario, risk of poaching.

EFFECT: My chemist got poached by my best friend.

PROBLEM: My plan got derailed and my business lost its momentum.

SOLUTION: From now on, I will learn my lesson by consulting only those who can give me input or warn me of pitfalls—never those who don’t have anything to contribute and may be tempted to poach.

I will also move on by focusing how to get back on track instead of griping about or planning to confront my best friend. Doing so would be a waste of time and energy. I will instead be thankful to have discovered early on that my best friend turned out to be an @##&()$!

CONCLUSION: Don’t cry over spilled milk. There are countless others in a far worse predicament. If I tell you the many sins committed against me and the countless times I have turned the other cheek, you will wonder why I don’t walk around with a chronic stiff neck.

Count your blessings, Mark. Our texts will be printed in my column as a cautionary tale. At least something good will come out of your experience.

Print ed: 11/13


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