When I was 6 or 7 years old, my dad handed me a plate of leftovers and told me to put them in the refrigerator.
I opened the door and saw that the fridge was full, no room for the plate. Obviously the task could not be completed and I told him so.
I shouted back from the kitchen, “I can’t, there’s no room in the fridge.” He simply replied, “make room.”
That story has stuck with me longer than it should have. At 7 years old, I saw the problem as one that couldn’t be solved. The fridge was full and that was that. Until my dad said “make room,” I hadn’t even considered that as an option.
I faced the problem assuming it had no solution, and therefore I saw none. Those two words, “make room,” opened up the possibility that I – just maybe- could do something about it.
Yes, of course the problems we face as adults are more complex than sticking some tupperware in the fridge, but I think the idea is the same. If you face a problem assuming you won’t solve it, it’s virtually guaranteed that you won’t.
Our brains won’t look for a solution if we decide there isn’t one. So why not approach a problem and assume it has a solution? What do we have to lose?
If we step to our problems assuming there’s a way to “make room,” we just might be able to.