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41. Strategy

The game of life is not so much in holding a good hand as playing a poor hand well.
H. T. Leslie (19c English composer)

Strategy is a general course of action (rather than a detailed plan). We often choose one out of habit, so it is common to be blind to some possibilities and recognise them only retrospectively. The purpose of this area is to reduce this occurrence. To do so, the basic ways of approaching problems are considered first and then a number of specific methods are suggested.

Facing the problem Problems

themselves are not a problem – we like them and create them when we don’t have them (e.g. crosswords, games etc.). The real problem arises when we don’t know how to solve them. But to be able to solve them, we need to face our problems first. Putting them off might bring temporary relief, but this often allows them to grow and makes things worse. However, it is usually not a good idea to deal with several problems at the same time, so when you decide to face your problems you need to prioritise. To choose which one to tackle first, take into account their importance and also which ones may grow if unattended.

What’s the problem?

Once you have made a choice, the first step is to clarify what the problem really is. This is often neglected, and it is more difficult than it sounds. Saying, for example, ‘I am not happy at work’ is not sufficient. You need to specify the cause of your discontent (e.g. ‘I am not paid enough’, ‘I am not getting along with my colleagues’, ‘my workload is too heavy’, etc.). If you think this is easy or that it doesn’t matter, try this example: John’s wife has left him, he is drinking too much, and is in danger of losing his job. What is his problem? (The prospect of losing his job? Drinking? Not coping well with the break-up? Something else?) Perhaps there isn’t a definitive answer, but there is no doubt that whatever you come up with will affect your choice of possible solutions.

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Copyright

PWBC (Personal Well Being Centre)
United Kingdom

Copyright

PWBC (Personal Well Being Centre)
United Kingdom