Escalate, Chunk, Connect: The Tremendous Way to Tackle Problems

A tremendous life is not devoid of problems. My father, Charlie "Tremendous" Jones, would quip, "Of course you've got problems; you're not dead!" Personal development legend Dr. Norman Vincent Peale maintained that the more problems you have, the more alive you are. Pain is mandatory; suffering is not. So, allow me to share some tremendous tips and tools to help you deal with your life's issues, challenges, and bad habits.

As a project manager, I've had my fair share of challenges. I've learned the value of 'Escalation' in the semi-conductors and defense industries, where being on budget and on time were crucial. This term refers to a communication process whereby the project manager alerts all stakeholders involved there's an issue that will impact a deliverable. It could be a defective part, a natural disaster, a change in the scope of work, or even new regulations.

I've discovered that any problem can be solved with the right resources and time, and the earlier you act, the better your chances of success. So, if you're reading this today and dealing with an issue plaguing you, it's time to escalate! Determine precisely what you need to remedy the situation or remove the obstacle.

The second term I learned in project management was "Chunking." Chunking means breaking down tasks into smaller, actionable items. As they say, "Inch by inch, life's a cinch. Yard by yard, life is hard."

I was getting my nails done today when I ran into a dear friend. We both shared how we began taking our mothers for manicures when they were in their 80s and into their 90s. My friend commented that her mother was a chronic nail-biter when she was younger. Then, one day, she devised a brilliant plan to break this habit. She only nibbled on nine nails for a week and let one grow. The following week, she allowed two to grow and focused on only eight. You get the picture. In ten weeks, she had conquered this problem that had plagued her her entire life one finger at a time! And as a recovered nail-biter myself, I know how challenging this habit is to break.

The final piece of advice is to stay in relationship with others. There have been billions of people like you and me who have walked this earth. There is nothing new under the sun, and that includes problems. So, if you're struggling, share that burden with someone whose input you value. Remember, a burden shared is a burden lifted.

Much of the loneliness we place on ourselves because we are embarrassed, ashamed, or just plain confused, is self-induced. Those older than 50 know that social media is the only place a perfect life exists. Others are in your life to bless you, so don't block the pipeline by isolating yourself. Freely share, ask, and receive.

So, whatever you're facing, remember these three things:

  1. Escalate immediately and keep escalating until things are back on track.
  2. Chunk that problem into bite-size morsels. As they say, how do you eat an elephant? One chunk at a time!
  3. Stay Connected. Life is meant to be done in community, whether in joy or anguish.

Remember these tips, and you'll find yourself navigating life's challenges with tremendous ease and grace.

Breaking bad habitsChunkingEscalationHabitsProblemsSolutionsSolving problemsSuccess

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