Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Today - Focus Only On Solutions

As people who are living with alcoholism, Al-Anon is a great tool to help us. Without the help we think about Problems more than Solutions. Worry and Fear becomes pervasive. Anger and Frustration become more friends than Laughter and Smiling.

For us in recovery, one of the things we could and should do is change old behaviors and habit patterns, that aren't working.

Change begins with recognizing a behavior pattern you have made a habit. In fact, with us in recovery, it is a deep seated behavior. Recognition of a destructive habit or habit supporting us in a direction we want to not go in, is the first step to change. The desire and the will to change is the second, critical step.

We are Programmed to Think About Problems
We are "problem dwelling creatures." We go to bed watching TV. What does TV have on it? Problems. We go to bed thinking about our work problems, personal problems, the weather, gas, etc. This makes us worry at night. And when we wake up in the morning, the first thing we do is think about our problems again.

Here are five things you can do to build your solution mindset:

  1. Make the Committment to Change. Today and tomorrow, and for the rest of the week, I will no longer go to bed thinking about my problems. Today, tomorrow and for the rest of the week, I will wake up thinking about solutions. I will focus on what I can do.
  2. Get (buy) a spiral bound notebook. When we think problems, write the problem down. Get it out of your head and on to paper.
  3. Ask yourself; Is it a big problem? Is it an important problem? Is it one problem? Or is it a series of problems? Should I solve this problem? Right now? And it so, what should I do? What are my options to bring about solutions? Write all these down.
  4. Then do one of the things on the list toward solving your problem. Work on it to completion. Then do another item on the list. If there is something on the list you cannot do, give it to God or your HP. I cannot believe I just wrote that. But I have found it does work. Give it to your HP to worry about. He's up all night anyway. He might as well have something to work on. So let him worry it to death. Pass it to him. He's OK with delegation.
  5. Keep that notebook wherever you go. Anything pops up. Write it down. When you start "completing your problems" by getting to a solution, you can look back at your notebook and go, "Wow. I thought I would never get past that one." This is a great motivator and mind booster, which reminds you whatever is a challenge today, then, "this too shall pass."

So, focus only on solutions from now on. I know this is hard. Just look at my rollercoaster posts. I am "up" in three of them, and "down" two (sometimes four - but who's counting?).

Whatever our problems, we shall prevail!


PS - More to come. But let's work on this one this week.


Syd said...

Good ideas Joe. I've been an optimist and problem solver most of my life. But I've learned that I don't have the answers to everything. I am fallible and have learned to give up those things over which I have no control--which is a lot.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Joe. I think this will help me a lot to deal with the frustration of having no forward movement where my relationship is concerned. And give me something constructive and "hands-on" to do.

Thanks for your blog in general. I've been reading backwards over the past couple of days. It's easy to "know" that other people are struggling, but to see and hear directly makes a big difference.

Has anyone else noticed that once you start to talk about alcoholism, you run into it everywhere? I.e. people begin to tell you their own stories of parents/spouses/etc.?


Marie said...

Hi Joe and Everyone,
I love this post. Ive been working on my solutions and the first big step i've taken is filing for custody of my girls. I need to make this legal so I can go on with the next step of filing for divorce. I am feeling so sad about this but in my heart I know its the right decision for me and my girls. Every step I take away from my alcoholic spouse is one step closer to regaining peace and sanity!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

i love this blog. and i love these two posts. they apply the law of attraction.