Posted on: April 29, 2020 Posted by: H.J. Rangas Comments: 0
The Problem Set Challenge
Reading Time: 3 minutes

An eagle rises above the storm by soaring above them. Similarly, we need to find a way to go beyond the storm that we are experiencing in our life. We need to let our minds soar to greater heights and figure out what we need to do to get there.

Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.

— Washington Irving

Instead of focusing on the worries, let us try to think above and beyond the challenges that we are facing. Seeing the bigger picture will help us take a clearer perspective of what we need to have and do in order to rise above the storm of life’s trials.

However, in order for us to soar above a challenge, we need to identify first if our wings are strong enough to withstand the storm. Ask yourself, “Do I have the qualities necessary to solve my current problem/s?” To answer this question, take the Problem Set Challenge.

The Problem Set Challenge

Get a pen and paper and divide it into 5 columns. Name the first column Challenge, the second column Solutions, the third column, Internal Resources, the fourth column Actions and the last column External Resources.


On the Challenge column, write down 1 or 3 major challenges that you are facing at the moment. Try to be specific and be sure to number them accordingly. Don’t think too hard on the order; just follow your gut.


On the Solutions column, write down the solution that is necessary to solve the problem. Try to be specific on this as well. If you have more than one solution to a problem, number them accordingly.

Internal Resources

On the Internal Resources column, write down the resources that you will need to implement each solution. These are not material resources but the qualities that you will need to help you implement the solution. For example, if you’re problem is that you need to save money and one solution is exercise; one quality you will definitely need is self-discipline. Each resource may be repeated for each solution.


On the Action column, write down how you will specifically implement each solution using the resources you have identified.

External Resources

At this point, you may add other items in the External Resources column as part of the requirements to implement the solution.

If you find that some Internal Resources are lacking, then that means that you need to develop these qualities in yourself. You may need to list this down as a problem that you need to solve first before the current problem you listed.

Revise your list accordingly until you are able to specify which problems need to be addressed first and the specific solutions to them. You may need to revise several times but try to come up with just 3 specific problems that you will focus on for the time being. Consider these 3 challenges and their solutions as your current problem set.

Whenever your preparations for the sea are poor; the sea worms its way in and finds the problems.

— Francis Stokes

This exercise helps you determine patterns of thought or habits that you may already have, or not have, that you will need to help you solve specific problems, not just at this moment in your life but also in the future.

Remember, before you can rise above the storm, you will need to ensure that you have the qualities it takes to brave the strong winds and endure whatever the storm brings you until you can go beyond it. But going above it is not your only goal. You also need to make sure that you have a plan on how to keep staying above it.

Feature Image: Original Photo by Dani Mota from Pexels.

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