From The Observer News (

Positive Talk
Aug 16, 2007, 11:39

©2007 Hodges Seminars International
In life we all face difficult situations every day. But have you noticed that some people seem to get through those situations with minimum effort and little damage. I believe those people have learned that when faced with a problem, they must look at alternative ways to handle it rather than always falling back on one or two options.

It has been said that when the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything you see begins to look like a nail. So it is with our problem-solving skills. If the only coping tool I think I have is to fight, then every time I am faced with a crisis I will fight. But fighting every time can be exhausting and counterproductive. We must cope to survive, and survival is our first and most basic of needs. It is the one around which most of the others will revolve. Only in situations where we put the lives of others ahead of our own will survival not be our primary instinct. So here are some other methods for meeting the challenges of the day and help you survive.

• Combine Efforts: By yourself you may not have the power to make something happen, but in combination with others, you may find the additional support you need to give you an edge. Look at what labor unions have been able to accomplish. A single worker has a very small voice but the AFL-CIO has a mighty roar. You may find you are not in a position to cope with the situation because you do not have enough control or authority to make decisions. Work toward expanding your area of authority and take control whenever you can.

• Fight: Fighting is always an option and one that must be exercised with prudence. Once you have selected the fight option, you must be willing to get hurt. As a young man, I learned that lesson on the streets of Detroit. I noticed that the people who got hurt the most often were the ones who were tentative in their actions. The winners not only used sufficient force to win but rather to annihilate their opponent. Fight only as a last resort but then fight to win.

• Revenge: This is a poor motivator to action and it is rarely if ever a positive solution. Someone once said, “Don’t get mad, get even.” In my Tip Toe Thru The Alligators seminar, I ask people the question. “Have you ever gotten even with somebody?” Several hands always are raised and to those people I just reply, “It ain’t over.” Revenge is a poor reason to take any action as it will generally just bring a response in kind. With that said, it is important that someone is punished for transgressions or they will continue to act in a negative manner.

• Retreat: There are times when retreat is the best option. If you do not feel you can cope with the situation now and that there might be a better time to accept the challenge, then step back. Most effective battle commanders have always known that strategic retreat is a very viable tactic on the way to victory. Whenever possible, fight the battle on your own terms, at your own time, and at a place of your choosing.

• Surrender: To quit and take your licks can be a very good option and a way to minimize your damages. If you are going to lose and you are not going to make any points by fighting, quit as soon as you can.
The next time you are faced with a problem situation, be sure to look for your options.

Bill  Hodges is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and syndicated columnist. Hodges may be reached at Hodges Seminars International, P.O. Box 89033, Tampa, FL 33689-0400. Phone 813/641-0816.
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