All problems in life require change to solve.

I find the hardest part about tackling a new problem, is understanding what actually needs to change. Sometimes a problem is just surface level and requires action. Others require new knowledge or at the deepest: A changed mindset.

But not every problem needs a deep soul searching journey into the depths of your mind to solve.

So I came up with this metaphor to help me identify what type of problem I’m dealing with.

Open and Closed Doors

In life there is an infinite amount of doors you can walkthrough.

  • Some are open to you right now, and others are not.
  • Some of them you can see, other ones are hidden.
  • Some are hard to walk through, and others easy.

Some doors have prizes behind them. Every time you walk through one, you get that prize.
But every time you walk through a door, new doors open, and other ones shut.

It’s an exciting, sometimes frustrating process this life.

Hard and Easy Doors

Some doors are easy to walk through. Watching TV, flipping through your social media on your phone. Takes no effort at all. But often these doors have small prizes, and more doors close then they open.

Some doors are hard to walk through. Saving money for your education. Having a child. Opening a business. They take time and effort. Some doors require you to pay money to go through. So while they are open to you, and you can see them, you can’t yet walk through them. While often these doors have the biggest prizes and open many doors for you, sometimes these hard doors are just hard, and no prize.

Opportunity

Some people make the best opportunities by carefully considering which doors they should walkthrough. Others make opportunities by walking through as many doors as they can. No matter what type of person you are, the most exciting part of this whole process in life is always walking through a door.

On the surface then, life is about choices between the hard and easy doors. You look what’s in front of you, and you make a choice, and it either leads you to better, or worse outcomes.

But you’ll soon discover that there is so much more to life then what is in front of you.

An exciting discovery!

After you’ve been in this life for a while, something tells you to not just look at what’s in front of you. You look around, and suddenly realize that there are more doors than you first thought! Most of them are closed, but you discover that some are open. A new adventure begins with not just going through doors but finding what new and different doors you can go through.

Life gets complicated really fast, but it also gets more interesting with possibilities. If all that’s in front of you were hard doors, you can take a look around and sometimes you find there are a few easier ones that get you the same prize. You now have a little more choice and control over your destiny.

If you can’t see a door, you can’t walk through it. So it’s important to take some time to look around, and see if there are better solutions to your problems, or to make progress than to take what’s right in front of you.

But how about those doors that never seem to open, no matter how many doors you go through?

Life-changing questions

As you continue on in life, of searching for, and going through doors, there is something you notice now that you’ve never really noticed before: That some doors always seem to remain closed no matter how many of them you walk through.

You then ask yourself a very important question:

How do I open the doors that always seem closed?

After you ask this question, a funny thing happens: One of those doors that you’ve seen been closed for a long time, opens all on its own.

Cautiously, you decide to walk through it and as you do, you realize that doors don’t just open because of physical actions you take, but some open and close because of your mindset, and what you believe to be possible.

If you don’t believe something is possible, no matter what you do, the door remains closed.

The full picture.

Now that you have the whole picture, we can see how to solve any problem:

The mindset.
To solve any problem in this world, you have to first have the right mindset. You have to believe it’s possible to accomplish.

If you’re not open to change, someone can show you the door and how easy it is to walk through it, but you won’t be able to.

Open more doors by changing your mindset on things, believe that things are possible, be willing and open to change.

The knowledge
To solve any problem in this world you need to have a good process, strategy or idea to implement.

No matter how good your attitude is, or how easy the door is to walk through, if you don’t know where that door is or how to get there, your options in life are limited.

Find more doors by learning new things. Find new strategies to accomplish tasks, or learn from others. Take time to not just take action, but to think of new ways of doing things. Before the internet, the only way to get new careers was the university. Now you have the world's knowledge all on your smartphone.

Use it.

The Action
To solve any problem in this world you need to have the resources to implement the action.

You can know what needs to be done and believe that it’s possible, but some doors require a certain amount of effort, time or money to be able to go through.
Not everything is money. Maybe you need to get in shape to be able to do something physical, learn gratitude and forgiveness to be able to push past emotion or cut out distractions in your life to improve your focus.

Get the resources to be able to go through the harder doors by taking action on the things you can do now, and work on the harder problems when you are more able.

Change is hard

Whether it’s your company or your personal life, it’s important to be able to understand the type of change that we require to move forward.

You can use this metaphor to ask yourself:

Do I need more doors open?

Do I just not have enough doors to choose from?

or

Do I just need to start going through some doors and getting things done?

Change for change’s sake is not often productive.

Being able to visualize and articulate the big picture problem, is what gives you permission to take change.