Uncle Thor's Lessons, Anecdotes and Humor


Big Problems, Practical Solutions

The following is a list of actions that can solve big problems. They are drawn from many years of experience and observation. The list gives you a sequence that includes practical thinking and practical action. It can be applied to any number of troubles. None of these are miracle cures. You have to make yourself part of the solution and apply good thinking and effective effort in order to succeed. There are no promises.

What I have found is that when people have a rational plan of action, they can act confidently and effectively. Those who have no idea of what to do tend to bumble about. They bounce from one thing to the next and have no clear path to their objective. Even the simplest game plan is far better than no plan at all.

The list below is here to help you make and implement a plan that works for you. Knowing leads to doing.

0) Realize that something is wrong.

1) Admit to yourself that there is a problem. Acknowledge it. Identify it. Better to face an unpleasant fact than perpetuate a pleasant lie. You can deal with facts. A lie is nothing. It allows the facts to deal with you.

2) Understand that whatever the cause of the problem, it is your problem. You are responsible for it. Whether you contributed to the problem or if it came with no input from you is a moot point right now. Accept your responsibility for solving your problem.

3) If what you are doing is causing or feeding the problem, stop doing it. Cease the action that perpetuates the problem.

4) In many cases, you may need help to solve the problem. If you could solve it yourself, you would have done so. If you need help, admit to yourself that the problem is bigger than your own knowledge and abilities at this time. Determine the kind of help that you need.

5) Access the help you need. For medical issues, find a doctor. For legal problems, consult a lawyer. Money woes may require meeting with a financial advisor. If the problem is mental or emotional, find a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. For these and most other problems, there is help that you can access. Many areas have hotlines to help connect you with the help you need.

6) Do not sit back and let someone else do everything. Even with help, most solutions require effort on your part. Participate in your solution. Follow directions of those experts who are giving you help. Be the problem medical, legal, financial, relationship or otherwise, there are always things you should be doing. Follow doctor’s orders. Work with your lawyer. Heed the counsel of the financial advisors, marriage counselor or other experts. Help does not come and save the day by itself. It often requires your continued input.

7) Setbacks are a hazard of any effort, so mentally prepare to deal with them. You do this by making a commitment to yourself. No matter how many setbacks occur, always get back into the effort and keep moving forward. One might say that when Life knocks you down, get back up! Do not let setbacks win. You only fail if you allow them to stop you from further effort. When thigns go wrong, get back up and make them right.

8) Time is of the essence. The sooner you recognize the problem and commit yourself to its solution, the better. Generally, the earlier you move on a problem, the easier ti is to solve.

9) Complex problems require organized solutions. Dismantling a complex problem takes deliberate thought and planning. Usually, there is a core problem and several sub-problems that it has engendered. Defeating the core problem helps minimize the effect of the others. You can frequently ascertain a sequence in which to dismantle the others. For instance, if dealing with a drinking problem, the first thing is to stop drinking. Once there is enough time sober, the other problems caused by drinking can be addressed effectively in detail..

10) A key concept to consider is the impact of people, places and things. Perhaps there are people who contribute to the problem. There may be places which perpetuate the problem. Consider also things, be they objects or activities, which support the problem rather than the solution. Minimize the impact of all three, first by becoming aware of their influence. Avoid if possible. If not, choose other actions to mitigate their unfortunate influence. Gravitate toward people, places and things that support the solution.

11) Throughout the process, look for any patterns in your own behavior that might be contributing to the cause of your problems. Look for recurring things that eventually cause trouble. Make an effort to identify and break those patterns. Perhaps you are drawn to individuals whose influence leads to problems. Maybe there are things you do that start the process of trouble. By recognizing these patterns and recurring things, you can learn to avoid or minimize their influence.

12) Once you have a handle on the problem, you are still not finished. Be vigilant to prevent further outbreaks of trouble. Place yourself on the side of the solution in all things. Better to be the one who is on the side of improvement than the one who is always fending off impending calamity.


Many a complex task is actually a series of smaller tasks. There is usually a sequence in which they are to be addressed. There is a simple trick to this. Determine the proper sequence and stick to it. Do not get ahead of yourself.

Deal with each stage of the complex task as if it is a whole job in itself. Do the job completely and thoroughly before moving on to the next step in the sequence. This assured that you get the job done right the first time, and you do not have to go back to fix glitches.

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