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The Importance Of Problem Solving!

To learn and not to do is really not to learn....

To learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know. (Photo credit: planeta)

This post is finished.  I am done with the revising and editing; but I wanted to put it up early so a class I am teaching could use it to learn something about critical thinking.

Cognitive development continues in adult life and some of the crucial elements are the individual’s creative and learned abilities to solve problems.  Do it “My way; but nicely” as a musical comedy (The King and I) song says is the way many parents and supervisors lead.  Could it be that the problem-solving skills of these individuals are also underdeveloped not just those of their children or their supervisees?  A good work relationship requires an able boss and a good employee, an able parent and a child with undeveloped potential, an able teacher and a willing student.  In all of these equations, both the leaders and those being led have to participate and make contributions.

How do we help this along?  It is by not letting an “I can’t do this” attitude from hindering a person’s development.  Learning does not stop at 16, 21, or 35.  It goes on for a lifetime.  I realize that I have, when confronted with a barrier or an obstacle, have not taken the time necessary.   I just want to get on with it so I continue on with that detail not attended to and also on depending on someone else to do what I have not learned to do for myself and not bothering to problem solve and master what may be a new skill for me.

Obstacles and barracades are opportunities to grow and learn and to acquire new skills.  How often have you said I can’t when you probably could.  Being constantly dependent on others to do things for us which we can’t or have not learned to do for ourselves can lead to anger both at ourselves and for our helplessness and at others whose whims we see ourselves are susceptible to.

Learning by Doing

Learning by Doing (Photo credit: BrianCSmith)

Take on a new project.  Find one thing that you have not learned how to do for yourself and master it.  My spouse recently showed me for the nth time how to call up a missed number on the phone.  I had always depended on him to do it for me and if he wasn’t there I could get mad at myself for not knowing how to do it and at him for being in control of my life that way by not being able to return a simple phone call without him.

Now I have a growing list of things I should be able to do for myself which demands I usually met in the past with a feeble, “I can’t…”  Sometimes it is not easy; but, when mastered, these things give you more freedom to do it your way, not theirs.  Learning involves communication between pupil and teacher.  The student needs to build on what they already know in order to bridge the gap between themselves and teachers.  It is this communality that fosters learning.  The attitude, “This is so stupid.  Why can’t he learn this”, is often an example of the teacher’s tendency to give up and externalize the blame onto the student.

Finally, once you’ve solved the problem, remember to use what you have learned the next time you have that problem.  Remember practice makes perfect.  What you learn for yourself is often the best learning method.  You don’t leave any steps out or forget to define terms.  Focusing on the neuroplacity of the brain means that we can go on learning the rest of our lives.  It increases self-esteem,  it develops abilities you may be able to teach others as a legacy, it enlarges your sphere of life (now no more saying to yourself limiting yourself by saying, ” I won’t go there because I can’t do that and I am not willing to learn”.

Remember you sometimes can chose what you want to learn to do but you can’t always control others so that they will do things for you when you don’t know how.

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Here I Am, Tomorrow

livetomorrowReady to start life over and develop my creative side.  After all being left-handed, I am in my right mind.  Is that why I need to develop my spontaneous, intuitive side?  I  find a better fit as a psychologist when I view myself  also as a crafts person, not only as a scientist.  I now know who I am; I am an artist and life is my canvas.

At this time of life most people are winding down while I am winding up.  After a hiatus of five years due to physical problems,  I’ve got time to make up.  The new me, JoyL, has changed her name and now has red hair.  If my friends could see me now.  There is no time like the present.  I have waited long enough.  I am not your usual housewife, mother, or grandma anymore (if I ever was).

There’s no time like the present.  Can’t stop now.  I’ve just begun.  Anyone else like me out there?  Could you write a post for this blog that was inspired by this?

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Defining Your Identity

English: High school students from the United ...

English: High school students from the United States learn about prerequisites for veterinary school and the veterinary school admissions process at a career fair in March 2005 in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The process of defining one’s identity can be an arduous task.  It can be a never ending process lasting throughout your entire life.  No wonder some people take the “easy” way out and join a cult.  Scientology is an example of this.  In return for doing what appears to be getting your life in order you give up your freedom to live your own life.  The more unambiguous an organization is the more attractive it is to some people, especially those who can’t deal with ambiguity.

“Foreclosure” is the psychological word for accepting as your identity something that society, your family, your culture has set up for your future without much consideration of what that would mean for you.  Freedom of choice was often not a factor here.  Large catholic families, for example, in the past often had at least one child that they planned to have devote her or his life to the church by becoming a nun, sister, priest, or monk.  If it is a good fit, the person can have a successful life.  Often, especially in the past, this decision was made when the child was very young and while attending Catholic school.

Often one still chooses their identity at an early age even if his or her family did not choose it for them because the process involved in achieving that career takes a lot of preparation and it needs to be done early.  This is often clear when a person decides to make a career change later in life.  Now that people are living longer, it is happening more and more often.  Often it is a part of mid-life crisis.  Often people who do not “jump” into something early in their lives often are afraid that they will “miss the boat.”  Yet those who do so later often have more experience and make better choices.  This is very clear in careers that peak early and bring with them fame and fortune but allow little time for those who are successful that way to develop their talents and their characters.

More to come later on finding your spiritual identity and when, if, and how doing so relates to finding a career.  Also how your initial identity is created by your environment (including your family), by your heredity (abilities, deficiencies, and talents), by the place where you were born, the time when you were born, and by the political and religious issues at that time.

Career path

Career path (Photo credit: highwind012)

 

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