When trying to problem-solve it’s good to get some distance in order to look at it in a different way.  You know that old adage, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.”  When bogged down by challenges, we are are often just too close to see what’s going on.


How do you get distance?


  • Talk to a trusted friend.  Sometimes hearing your own voice helps bring clarity to a situation.
  • Take time out to get away.  Even if it’s just a short walk or a change of scenery, you can see things differently.
  • Sleep on it.  Most of the time things really do look better in the morning.  Our brains have time to work through the issues during the night and we can tackle them with more energy at the beginning of the day.
  • Switch gears.  I have a lot of electronic issues.  I get frustrated easily.  When something won’t upload or download or post, whatever, I’ll  step outside or do a chore.  Suddenly the solution becomes obvious.  When it doesn’t, then I ask for help.


Asking for help is difficult for a helper like me.  I don’t like to ask but I’m getting better at it. I find that getting help actually makes things easier.  Go figure!


For problems that go beyond minor frustrations, it’s important to have a spiritual support system.


What works for you when you are wrestling with a problem?



  1. Ruth Heil on November 3, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Building on the photo, the call to get away, and the solution of getting outside, I go to the woods. Like human problems and challenges, the woodland ecosystem is also complex, but its challenges produce amazing results. Take the tree that grew from a nut wedged into a boulder’s crevice. That gives me encouragement. If the tree can grow in such a predicament, then so can I.

    All your suggestions are important ones, though. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Elinor on November 3, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Loran, these are all great tips – thank you 🙂

  3. Ann on November 3, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I mull over the problem like a dog with a bone or a toy. I thow the ideas this way and that way looking for a new perspective. The other day I just gave up for awhile and discovered my childhood home using satalite (I can’t spell that). I saw the front of the house and made the computer take me down the roads of my childhood. I was so engrossed with that my mind did its thing without me; and when I went back to work, I was full of energy.

  4. Leanne Chesser on November 9, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Walking in nature really helps me. It give me clarity and also refreshes me. Going for a drive seems to get my head out of my thinking and I end up getting a ton of ideas flowing in. Talking things out sometimes helps and just sitting quietly does too. Love your eagle picture :).

    • Loran Hills on November 9, 2011 at 10:31 am

      Walking in nature helps me too. Unfortunately, it’s turning quite cold in Utah and winter is on its way. Sitting quietly will have to do!

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