THE BLOG
11/05/2015 11:21 am ET Updated Nov 05, 2016

To Win at Life: Be Solution-Oriented Rather Than Blame-Fixated

When something goes wrong, it can be very satisfying to say, "Well, it's so-and-so's fault. If he'd just get with it, this wouldn't have happened," or "I know I'm late, but it's not my fault the car broke down." True, it's not your fault, but if you stop there, you've just declared yourself a loser. Yes! You've just stated that you have no power that you are but the helpless victim of the situations and events in your life. That whatever happens, it's somebody or something else's fault, nothing you could do would matter.

Not so! You have tremendous power over what happens to you when you stop focusing on where to fix the blame and start focusing on how to fix the situation.

This is a winner's secret. A person who wins at life has just as many difficult situations to face as anybody else, just as many unpleasant happenings and circumstances, but a winner doesn't stop at figuring out whose fault it is. A winner stops at "whose fault it is" just long enough to figure out where the responsibility lies to better problem solve. A winner then immediately turns the attention to how to fix the situation and insure that it never comes up again.

People who win at life are great at creative problem solving. For example, if you were late because your car broke down, maybe you need to schedule more regular maintenance appointments with your mechanic, or maybe you need to change mechanics. Maybe it's time you started budgeting for a new (OK, newer) car.

If, for example, "so-and-so" is someone who causes you problems on the job, let's say by her lack of initiative or poor follow through, find ways of dealing with her irresponsibility that rather than simply blaming the person. Ask to work with a different individual, or don't rely on this person for initiative, don't count on her follow through. Accept the fact that this person is unreliable, and figure out creative ways to work successfully regardless of how "so-and-so" fails to do her job well.

This is what being a winner is all about: creatively using your skills and talents so that you are successful no matter what is happening around you. People who win at life don't have less problems, they are just better at seeing those problems as challenges, as opportunities to further explore, apply, and develop their own talents.

In addition, winners are great at finding resources outside of themselves to support their problem solving. They rarely try to go it alone, they willingly enroll others' help and cooperation, always, however, taking responsibility for the outcome.

Once you accept that you do have the power to transform any given situation, given your unique talents, skills, and access to resources, you will find that your ability to creatively problem solve is tremendous.

Stop focusing on "whose fault it is." Who cares? Start focusing on the wonderful opportunity of applying your strengths and talents to problem solve, and appreciate whatever happens to you in your life as just another stepping-stone to a better, happier life.