I’m Stuck!

Life seems to love challenging us!

First, understand many challenges in life aren’t necessarily a challenge in the first place. Pause to examine why you are stuck, and the difficulties carefully and then face them with appropriate test responses. In this manner, you can at times reveal smoother paths and avoid wasting energy on non-problems. Not everything that looks like a problem is a problem.

Focus on Simple Answers

Simple solutions work 80-90% of the time when you get stuck.

In helping others, one hallmark of how I work is to make the process simple. The basic template for reliable solutions comes down to three steps.

  1. Use kindness as the starting point in determining what is simple.
  2. Then modestly apply the answer, so it’s possible to change up the solution easily as problems do arise.
  3. Finally remembering not to prejudge what the final results should look like for your solution.

Strive for simple solutions in your life.

stuck in a problem
Art by NaBHaN

It’s a mistake to hold the solution for being stuck as being complicated or hard before you even start. This is only natural because you’re already pondering over all the reasons you’re stuck.  Thinking deeply about problems tends to push complications into the process. Because people like to work hard to make something happen, it also means people unwittingly push harder to find possible problems (that aren’t there).

Hard workers tend to make their overall process hard also because they are used to working hard!

Don’t accidentally be too hard on yourself! Don’t over-complicate your path ahead.

Move ahead with simplicity, use kindness to select actions that fit your nature, use modesty to keep each step manageable, remove judgment to cut out drama, conflict, and complications. Then you will discover you can have enough time left over to enjoy your life as you grow into your next steps.

I make the initial process of getting unstuck simple because nine times out of 10 it’s simple. Are you up to the challenge of removing hardness out of your path?

Problems Require Pacing

Be patient with yourself.

Often we want answers fast and solutions to be even faster. Well fast is harsh and often the stress of fast creates problems. Modesty removes the challenges that fast creates.

Problems tend to accumulate over time. It isn’t reasonable to expect a single action in one day fix to something that took months or years to become a problem. So be patient and allow many small, simple solutions, to add up over your steps, over time to get unstuck.

Take the time: to not figure out how to make everything work as a single solution. Take the time: to focus lightly upon life and take multiple steps towards your solutions.

Waiting with Grace

In the push to get unstuck, we often don’t take time to prepare ourselves properly. Pausing can be a powerful part of how you solve problems. Understand at times we do need to wait for enough information to become available in our process to heal or fix something.

People have a hard time waiting.

One challenge, in times of waiting, we push rather than play or explore. When dealing with a challenge and you are forced to wait, use this waiting time fully. Practice taking care of yourself in these moments of waiting. Allow this to be a time to heal, clean up side issues, catch up with life a bit. You will be surprised at how much you can do in these in-between moments.

Once the waiting time is over, you are going to be too busy dealing with the next steps of solving your problem. Allow waiting periods to be a gift.

Is it possible to wait too long? Yes. If you are feeling stagnant, then it means action has to happen to move things along. Just keep in mind sometimes the action is to take some time for yourself.    

Go Beyond Destination
Embrace Your Destiny!

Choose Your Problem

Here is a strange truth, not every problem you have when stuck is yours to solve. We inherit and are given problems by the outside world.  We don’t have to fix or solve everything around us. Assume 1/3 to 1/2 of the problems you face are probably not fully yours. If you try to fix a problem that isn’t yours when you are stuck, you will still be stuck afterward and have less energy to move on to fix your problems.

Take a good close look and decide which issues are truly yours. Many times a problem we have is just something handed to us by another person or is an inherited issue you can just release and walk away.

Life will always present challenges for us to overcome. A simple teaching I have is this: pick your challenges (or drama) since if you don’t the universe will give you something more terrible to face.

For this year ahead, Julie and I have decided to expand and go deeper into producing the Personal Tao site, videos, materials and Awakening Dragon community. In doing so, I am finding my time quite filled in. In fact, I can safely say looking ahead the next 6 to 9 months are overly full. The reason I mention this is because as life gets crazier, I am finding I have no time to worry about it and I feel quite good since we are busy helping others every day on many levels.

As time unfolds the universe, politics and societies overconsumption will be dishing out drama and challenges galore. So be careful and pick your challenges wisely ahead.

My advice is :
Pre-load your challenges to inoculate yourself against the times ahead.

It does help.

An interesting side truth is don’t solve everything in your life. If you solve every problem too fast, the universe has a habit of upping the game on you.

A little help
goes a long way
in finding solutions.

Beyond HardTen Steps to Getting Unstuck

By making most of your solutions simple you then give yourself energy and time to deal with the truly hard challenges in life.

People are often afraid of working through hard problems. Fearful to the point of avoiding hard steps. Fear of dealing with hard problems slowly steps a person towards a crisis later in their life.

Here is the ten step process to resolving out the harder problems and getting unstuck in life.

Step One – Release Your Fears

The first step in this situation is to handle your fears first. Fear will magnify and make problems seem worse. Removing your fear can also remove some of the false challenges you will face. Removing fear frequently simplifies the problem at hand.

Step Two – Change The Approach

Crisis forces the hands of many people. However, long before a crisis, people tend to avoid directly dealing with the very issues that will create a bigger crisis later. In fact: this is often due to very predictable patterns which ironically come from our culture. This means people will double down on the actions that create the crisis you get stuck within later!

After you release fear, you then change how you approach a crisis of being stuck. Don’t always try to solve a problem the way you were taught to approach problems as a child. Take time to learn new approaches and methods of problem-solving.  If you work on small changes in life before your crisis, that can give you traction to get unstuck later in life. So it’s possible to use a moment of upcoming crisis as motivation to change.

Learn how to work with change before a crisis happens. Then it’s possible to take preventative steps with awareness to prevent getting stuck later in life.

Step Three – Don’t Push Blame

Many of us were brought up to avoid looking inward and directly dealing with our problems.

Oh, we are taught how to blame others, to point fingers: yet how many people encourage you to take the time to be patient with yourself, to actively take time and grow rather than run to schedules and deadlines?

If you blame others for being stuck, you are spending no energy on getting unstuck.

Step Four – Don’t Get Stuck in Other Problems

Worse, right now the very culture we live in is in crisis: facing challenges on how we live on this very planet. We are all faced with very hard lifestyle choices right now.

It’s all too easy to refocus on other problems rather than the problem at hand. It’s all too easy to add in additional problems to your challenge to make it seemingly impossible to overcome. If you remove out these outside issues, often you will find your current problem more manageable to overcome.

Step Five – Approach Your Problem with Grace

Understand this: you still have many years to live and experience in your life: so take up this challenge, here and now.

Your next step is to make your life graceful.

If you only focus on being stuck, you reinforce being stuck. If you look at being stuck as an opportunity to do something more gracefully, you expand who you are as you get unstuck in life.

Step Six – Learn From Your Mistakes

Accept that mistakes will be made. Learn from your mistakes and let this become a learning process that helps give you insights and solutions towards your hard challenge now.

Step Seven – Not to do the Wrong Thing

People make a mistake to think the solution to a major problem is to perform the right action. More often the case, the trick is not doing the wrong thing.

In this step, we often pause to consider our options.

Let’s face it: in a rush to fix things we often act reactively. So many times people will respond with incorrect actions at first that they think will be right. Many times in helping a student through their problems I will show them how ungraceful actions could create bigger problems. Often doing the wrong thing will create a worse problem to get stuck within that prevents any truly useful solution later. Pausing often stops a person from reacting to judgment or in a harmful manner.

This doesn’t mean to sit back in fear and do nothing. Rather this means consider your options first before assuming you know the right answer. Please note: doing nothing is as bad as doing the wrong thing ironically. Doing nothing usually means the problem is getting worse and the situation is often creating additional problems to fix.

This process helps you avoid the trap of doing nothing. Pause is an important part of solving problems, but pausing isn’t passive. For instance, a pause isn’t a moment of doing nothing, rather pause is an active step of reviewing everything happening around you.

Real Life Example

I helped save a marriage earlier this week by helping two people simply by helping them not doing all the wrong things. By buying them time to grow and find their inner strength. Then they were able to come back together with their strength and actions to start the building of a new marriage.

This isn’t an easy path. People insist on rushing and acting in all the wrong ways.

People insist on healers fixing everything for them up front. At times to be a healer means to hold a person back for a few moments, so they can get back on track later in life and be their own healers. Try to pause a bit more often and hold oneself back from judgmental actions that will only create conflict later in life.

Step Eight – Act Decisively but in a Modest and Simple Manner.

Generally speaking there rarely is a perfect right solution to any one problem. Because as human beings, we are dealing with many stories,  perspectives and complex inter-dependencies between the problem and you. This means the follow up of a solution usually goes sideways in unexpected manners.  Most solutions come from a back and forth process of trying smaller solutions. Then over time evolving an answer that best works for the situation. So unless you know for sure, your big leap is right for you usually, as a rule, smaller steps are easier to manage and then fix any mistakes that arise from your solution.

Side note: Yes at rarer moments a big leap is required but only do so when your heart, energy, and faith back the bigger leap answer or you have reviewed, the more moderate options.

Step Nine: Jump in and Tackle the Problem

The first eight steps might be hard, but they will simplify your problem down considerably.

You can add additional optional steps

You have started to tackle the problem with the first eight steps; you will begin to see angles and options on how to resolve out the main problem.

Don’t let the hard steps part fool you into thinking we can’t avoid a crisis or work thru difficult times ahead. Having helped so many others, I know for a fact it’s possible to face and solve all challenges. While we may not like the answers, you can move ahead to make life better. The key is to realize you will face some hard steps, but after you accept and deal with the hard steps, it then becomes manageable again.

Hard doesn’t mean “Impossible.”

Hard only becomes “Impossible” when judgment stops you from trying solutions!

Final Step Ten – Repeat as Required

Fix any minor problems and then go back to the start of the page and repeat the process.

Again, every solution will come with follow-up problems. Don’t get stuck in these new issues once you are free from your old problem. Don’t assume you will be perfect or your answer is bulletproof. Instead be ready to clean up after the answer is implemented in action. Learn lessons from the process and then pause again to make sure everything truly is in a better place.

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Simple Solutions
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This is exactly what I needed this morning. Directly before reading this I read the article on Taoism and Flow. With the picture of the matador and the bull. To me, not making my solutions hard is about exactly that. Going with the flow, letting things happen as they will and never trying to force anything. In 1 of the comments above it says, “let it be”. I kinda put my own spin on it but still kept the same meaning. I like to say, “Ride It Out”. You can’t change the direction the river is flowing so you might… Read more »

As I re-visit and read again, I see another layer of meaning in what you have written. Not just this article but across the entire web-site. An analogy – visiting this web-site is as – I climbed in an open window, found myself in a Temple. Looked around, found meaningful art, a sense of peace. Eavesdropped on a class in progress, heard things that made me feel lighter. Out another window. On with my day. But the experience made some change in my day, some small difference that I liked. So I found another open window and visited this place… Read more »

A perfect article for me to read this morning! Thanks again, and again, and again, for the insights that open here each time I visit. My mother used to say, “Let go and let God.” Of course she did not coin that saying. I will resist the all to simple tact of changing the saying to let go and let Tao, as that may or may not be a good superposition of words. Indeed, just let go is enough. I have seen it work many times, and do not have any explanation. So, why to I keep catching myself holding… Read more »

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