Focus on Solutions

I get asked: “How can I be successful?” all the time. One of the first things is to stop whining and complaining and instead search for solutions and take action. On my last flight back to Spain I found a good quote by Edward E. Hearn in my monthly Toastmaster magazine. It describes beautifully what I mean. It says: “Everybody has problems in life. But the real key to life is not crying over your problems. The key to life is overcoming problems, and bouncing back from them!”

It is what I keep telling my assistants. DON’T FOCUS ON THE PROBLEM, FOCUS ON THE SOLUTION!

Let me give you a few typical examples from my travels in Ukraine. One time I needed to change my international flight and once that was changed I needed a flight from South Ukraine to Kiev to catch my new international flight. 2 Assistants were supposed to take care of that and let me know in the morning what time I was leaving. At 08.30 am I was packed and ready to leave. 9.30 came and still no flight confirmations. I called my assistant. She said they were working on it and that she will call me as soon as she knows the details.

By now I knew I could not catch the morning flight anymore so I relaxed and started to work on a couple of articles but when it turned 11.00 and I still had no news I called her again. She said it is impossible to change my flight so they are trying to buy a new one but the price was over 1200 Euros for the one way and they could not buy the ticket because they did not have sufficient funds.

“Why didn’t you call me?” I asked. “I did not want you to think I can’t do this”, was the answer. “There is nothing wrong with not being able to do something Katya. But there is everything wrong with not admitting to it and therefore not getting things done”, I said. “Time is getting precious as I need to be in Kiev by the evening.”

It was 3 hours from my house to the local airport and still no solution in sight. I asked my assistant to come to where I was staying and that we would find a solution together. Meanwhile I looked for a number for the Alitalia office in Kiev. Unfortunately their website was down so I searched for any Alitalia office anywhere and I found a number in Rome. By this time my assistant had arrived. She told me she had called Kiev airport but there was no Alitalia office there (which turned out not to be true) She also said she had spoken to Alitalia in Italy and they had told her my Internet ticket could not be changed. I could not believe that and called the number I had found from Rome. They passed me on to Alitalia reservations department who changed my Internet ticket within minutes. All I had to do is pay 50 Euros penalty. My assistant watched me with amazement. She could not believe that I had solved the issue within minutes that she and another girl were not able to find a solution for since yesterday.

But that’s not the end of the story. Now we needed the flight ticket from Sevastopol to Kiev for the afternoon. My assistant called the companies travel department and asked them to buy the ticket for me. As I still needed to speak with a TV producer we went to the office and, once there, wanted to pick up my ticket.

But nothing had happened yet. They did not know how to pay it and again they did not call me. I told them to go to the accounts department and get the funds there. The girl went and I really thought that now all was in order but when it was time to leave, my limousine was there but no ticket. The girl was not back. When I called her she said accounts did not understand what she wanted and refused her the funds. One phone call later she had the money and we went to meet her downtown at the airline office to pick up the ticket. Again, the situation was solved once we focused on a solution and did not concentrate on the problem.

Well, to make a long story short, I caught the last possible flight at the last possible minute – once we had concentrated on the solution.

1st visit in Kiev, Ukraine 2007

My limo to the airport

Exactly the same thinking seems to be the challenge in most people’s lives. Most concentrate on the problem and not on a solution. They look at the process and not beyond but if you stare at the obstacle instead of the overall objective, you cannot find ways to overcome the obstacle as that is all you can see and you get stuck in the process.


Always look at the big picture. Always keep the end result in mind so short term obstacles are nothing more than hurdles you need to take to get to the finishing line. For everything there is a solution. It might not be ideal and it might not be the direct line to the mark but as long as it moves you in the right direction it is much better than whining, complaining and hoping without taking action.

You can be anything you want to be!

You can be anything you want to be! And exactly here is our challenge. To dare something new we must move out of our comfort zone and believe me, that is not easy. We feel comfortable in what we know, we feel safe and secure even if we are in a miserable situation because the devil we know… I am sure you know the proverb. But if we continue to do…

Einstein put this very nicely:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.”

To help you move out of your comfort zone visualize what it would be like when you have reached your big dream. Open your boundaries and dream in 3D. Visualize in every little detail, with all 5 senses what life could be like when you are actually there. Close your eyes and daydream and only when you can “see” yourself in your perfect day and have a wide grin on your face and a nice, warm feeling inside, open your eyes and write it all down. Every little bit of it. Where you are, what you feel, who is around you, what you do, is it warm or cold, are you in a city or in the country, is it a special day of celebration…

Make it a very vivid Vision of your perfect day. Imagination is the root of everything we do and by far the most powerful tool to succeed. Unless you can imagine yourself being happier, richer, thinner, fitter, or whatever it is you want to achieve, the chances of you ever getting there are slim.

Your brain needs to ‘see’ the results of your actions before it will allow you to apply your time and effort on striving for them. But unfortunately, although we are all blessed with imaginative powers as children, those powers very often fade as we enter adulthood. Remember the 95 % confidence we have as children and only 5 % as adolescents.

Regaining your ability to imagine, to picture something in your mind so complete that all your senses can experience it, IS possible. It just takes a little bit of practice. The more detailed your written “vision” is the more it will draw you towards actually getting there. Mine gets longer and longer and I feel great when I read it – which you should do frequently.

Jim Rohn says: “If the why is strong enough, the how becomes easy.” It is up to you to create your WHY. Get yourself into the feeling. This is the strongest technique to create belief in yourself!!! My clients say it is like giving birth and it really is incredibly motivating.

Honestly look into the amount of time you give to your dreams every day? For most of us it is NONE so how can we expect to ever make them come true?

It is only when your vision is clear that you should ask yourself: What do I have to do to get there? Always start with the end result in mind! That is what most of us do wrong. We start walking before we know exactly where we want to go to. In consequence it is no surprise that we stray off and get discouraged.

Work with the secrets of those who have done the “impossible”. Change your programming from “What if I fail?” to “What if I succeed? Then what?” Would that scare you? It shouldn’t! You are the Best in whatever field you are passionately involved in. But first you must know exactly what you want. Your vision has to be crystal clear to you.

Sorry, if I get carried away but I really want you to get this.

Dr. Schuler, Edison , Mandela, Trump, Robbins and a lot of other extremely successful people all have these 3 things in common.

The first key is that they know exactly what they want and start with the end in mind.
The second key is BELIEF. People who do the impossible believe they can do it and eventually they do!
And the third: They act in spite of their fears; in spite of their doubts and in spite of what their family and friends might tell them.

Always remember: These are your dreams not theirs. This is your life not theirs!

Dare to go further, dare to create new experiences, implant greater ideas. Act in spite of your fears and doubts – again and again. Move on even if you feel uncomfortable. It is in those moments that you grow.

I wish you to be ALL YOU CAN BE and that is anything you want to be!

To your success!

Barbara Hofmeister

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