Notes from the Author
Becoming a problem solver is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself. I applaud you for taking such a powerful step in your life, and thank you for giving me the opportunity to share in your journey. Unscribbling is a process, but please rest assured that no matter what your typical approach to problem solving has been in the past – whether you are the list-and-goals type or the spiritual type – the methodology and the layout of the book will be approachable for all types of personalities.
Although this book is about problem solving, I want to stress that I am in no way encouraging you to focus on your problems. Quite the contrary – by teaching you how to problem solve, I am encouraging you to focus on your intended results and create the life that you desire.
But before we go any further, I feel I must warn you that I once took a personality profile and part of it said: “She is usually polite but may sometimes be too frank, thereby leaving an aggressive impression.” Being a “no-bull” type of person has definitely gotten me into trouble on more than one occasion. I try to be mindful of this in my personal interactions. However, since this book is not directed at any one person, I figure I can be as frank as I want to be here. So if you are up for a straightforward discussion on learning how to confront life’s challenges and make your dreams and desires come true through the art of problem solving, please read on! If not… umm, maybe give this book to someone else. Either way, please consider yourself warned.
Also, I must clarify that although this book will delve into some armchair psychology at times, please note that I am not a trained psychologist; I am a trained designer who uses problem-solving skills every day. I have seen the principles outlined in this book work both personally and professionally, and I am hoping to pass them on to you here.
As you find your true desires and work to fulfill them, many emotions and feelings may come to the surface. I encourage you to use your emotions as a tool. If you have strong feelings of joy, anger, sadness, etc., explore that area of your life more – either on your own or with a trained professional. All of those emotions are good things. Your positive feelings are pointing you towards your happiness, and the negative ones are showing you areas in your life to work on. They are all helping you learn more about yourself, and the more you can learn about yourself the better.
Personally, I have found that the more I know about myself, the more I learn to accept myself. The more I accept myself, the more I am able to accept others as they are. As you learn to become more accepting individuals, others can learn and grow from your example. Our inner peace will start to spread.
My intentions with this book are that you will...
• Obtain peace of mind knowing that there are ALWAYS solutions to your problems and ways to attain your true desires.
• Gain confidence knowing that there is more than one solution to whatever situation you want to solve or change.
• Know a step by step approach that you can use so you don’t have to rely on other people to solve your problems for you.
• Go out into the world with more confidence and with a feeling of worthiness, knowing that you are deserving and capable of making your desires and dreams a reality.
• Find the inner peace (and happiness) that comes with the confidence of a peaceful mind; and thereby create more inner peace and happiness in the world.
Best wishes on your journey,
P.S. All names have been changed so that I don’t break any implied confidentialities or hear any crap from anyone.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” - Gandhi
Table of Contents
Part 1 - What is unscribbling?
Step 1 – Become aware 21
Step 2 – Intend 80
Step 3 – Brainstorm 84
Step 4 – Decide which way to go 96
Step 5 – Exploring;
transforming the dream(er) to a vision(ary) 101
(All while staying open to other, possibly better, solutions.)
Then, when you solve the problem you...
Step 6 – Thank 111
(P.S. Don’t forget to be thankful all along too.)
Part 2 - Things to think about
Chapter 1 – You are worthy of your desires 113
Chapter 2 – You don’t really desire money 128
Chapter 3 – Playing it safe 134
Chapter 4 – What is the worst that can happen 148
if the worst that can happen, happens?
Chapter 5 – Co-unscribbling 154
Chapter 6 – Welcome struggles 166
Chapter 7 – Change your attitude 176
Chapter 8 – Still desiring an Ex?... 187
perhaps, but what are you REALLY desiring?
Chapter 9 – Desires change 192
Chapter 10 – Enjoy the fish 197
In life, you can either become a victim of your circumstances and spend your life bitching, moaning and beating your head against roadblocks, or you can empower yourself. You can settle for where you are in life, or you can learn how to get past roadblocks and make your life all that you desire it to be.
This book will give you steps to help you find your true desires, explore ways to fulfill your desires, and create an actionable plan toward fulfilling your desires. It does this by demonstrating key problem solving strategies I have learned, and sharing observations that I have made over the years. The strategies and observations have helped me to “unscribble” problems in all areas of my life and develop what I call a “problem solving consciousness.”
By developing a problem solving consciousness and knowing this process, I find that no matter what problems, roadblocks or detours show up in my life, they are in no way debilitating. They aren’t, because I know that every situation in life that might stop me from progressing can be taken care of with some basic problem solving skills. Unfortunately, these are skills that are rarely taught in schools or at home. You may be taught how to solve “a” particular problem, but you probably have not been taught how to solve ANY problem that comes your way. The techniques in this book can be applied to any problem – big or small.
Although being able to solve your problems and fulfill your dreams is great, I have found that the biggest benefit of developing a problem solving consciousness is that you are free to thoroughly immerse yourself in the present moment, enjoy the flow of life, and find a peace of mind that comes with the confidence of a peaceful mind.
Now, don’t get me wrong. By being peaceful and present in the moment, I am not suggesting that you spend the rest of your life meditating (unless you really desire to do that). Meditation is good –great, actually – but unless you are hooked up to an IV and a waste disposal system, there will be limits to how long you can do that. Even then, our bodies were meant to move. If you have the ability to move and do not take advantage of that, I feel you would be wasting a precious gift. The unscribbling process I am suggesting is a way to find some inner peace as you move about in the real world.
You will create a mental (and/or spiritual) state of being that allows you to stay calm and peaceful when faced with life’s highs and lows. You can find that calm state of being in the real world by empowering yourself with the skills to solve whatever problems come your way.
For when you know how to solve problems, you are equipped with the ability to realize all of your true desires. Knowing that you are capable of making your desires come true makes the present so much more enjoyable. Instead of being frustrated that you cannot meet a certain goal or that you’re not “there” yet, you can feel content knowing that if you truly desire it, there IS a way to achieve your desire. You can unscribble whatever you are facing! You just need the skills and the drive to do it. Then, it is just a matter of time before your desires are realized.
With unscribbling, life will become like reading good fiction – always wanting to know what happens at the end of the book, yet at the same time, when the story is really good, not wanting the book to end because you are enjoying the journey and the story so much. Similarly, you end up loving the present moment in your life, just as it is, as much as loving the moment when your desires are met.
The journey becomes all the more important if your desires change along the way. Which is often the case with new knowledge and clarity about the solutions you are pursuing.
“If you want to meet someone who can fix any situation you don’t like, who can bring you happiness in spite of what other people say or believe, look in the mirror, and say this magic word: Hello!”– Richard Bach
Takeaway: Unscribbling is a problem solving process that empowers you with the ability to tackle any problem that comes your way and to fulfill your dreams.
How is problem solving the key to
fulfilling your dreams?
Problem solving is actually something that we all instinctively know how to do. We can easily apply problem solving in an emergency, but when it comes to our everyday lives, for some reason, we don’t trust the process. As a result, we make life harder than it needs to be.
If you go back to your instinctive problem solving skills, you can find the framework to solve any issue that is facing you, even the problem of, “How do I fulfill my dreams?”
Think about it. When an emergency or crisis occurs, there is no time to form committees, gather our friends to discuss, or even worry and fret. In an emergency situation, you need to solve the problem and solve it as fast as you can. If you break down this emergency problem solving procedure, you get the model for how you can solve ANY problem that comes your way.
What happens when an emergency situation appears in our lives?
• First you BECOME AWARE of the problem: There is a strange man trying to get into the house uninvited.
• You declare or INTEND the state you desire to be in: To feel safe and not have a strange man come into the house.
• You BRAINSTORM solutions: I could pick up that baseball bat, or I could call the cops, or I could start screaming at him, or I could...
• You DECIDE, ACT and EXPLORE the best option(s) to pursue: I’ll grab the bat and call the police. If that doesn’t work, I’ll start screaming and run out the back door.
• Then once the problem is solved, you THANK: the cops, your daughter for leaving her bat on the stairs, God, the Universe or whomever you believe in, and hopefully yourself too for getting through it.
During an emergency, as you ACT and you also stay OPEN. Open to alternative ways to get to your desired end state. Nothing stops you. If the phone lines don’t work, you grab your cell phone, if the cell phone is dead, you open a window and start shouting. No matter what happens you keep pursuing your desired end state. You try option after option until something finally works and you have relief. And, if the police happen to be driving by before you call them, do you send them away so that you can follow the path you laid out for yourself? No! You get out of the way so this better solution can be allowed to happen. You are always staying open to better, faster, easier solutions.
This same procedure can be applied to ANY problem, and also toward improving, creating and living the life of your dreams.
1. BECOME AWARE
You first notice a problem or area of your life you would like to improve.
You see what you truly desire and set your intention towards fulfilling that desire.
You brainstorm solutions to achieve your desired end state.
You choose a solution that you feel is the best.
5. ACT and EXPLORE
You take action and explore a path that will lead you to your desire. (You do all of this while staying open to other, possibly better, solutions.)
Then, when you solve the problem you...
You give gratitude for the results, and for any and all that helped you to get there. (Perhaps it’s even your Oscar acceptance speech. Now who hasn’t rehearsed that in their minds?)
This is the basic UNSCRIBBLING process. I call it unscribbling, because out of apparent chaos you can find order. Out of a scribble (desire) on a napkin, you can create reality. You can unscribble any problem you are facing, or achieve any desire you set your mind’s eye on. You instinctively know how to do this. You just need to become consciously aware of the steps.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, it can be when you learn and apply the process to your life. Those who apply the process will find they are living a life fulfilled. For whenever you are working towards your passion, your purpose, or your desires, you are living in a blissful state. It’s not necessarily about achieving the end state (which you will); it’s about enjoying the journey as you travel toward your desires.
“Everyone has to learn to think differently, bigger, to be open to possibilities.”- Oprah Winfrey
Takeaway: Once you learn to consciously solve your problems, you will be unstoppable. You will be able to reach all of your true desires.