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The Difference In Troubleshooting and Figuring Things Out

August 2, 2010

CartoonHave you ever undertaken to figure something out and managed to make it work, but were oblivious as to why it did? I did this today with my blog while changing the Permalinks. Jonathan sent me information on how to make Google pick them up and how to make them appear pretty so I proceeded to make the adjustments. After I modified them, the TweetMeme button on the posts had a question mark in it. When I clicked on it, the message said that there was URL redirect dilemmas. I embarked on trying figure it out. I uninstalled and reinstalled the plugin and did a variety of different things. The next thing I know it is working.

This reminded me of something I wanted to write about, the difference between troubleshooting and figuring things out. When we are frustrated, we tend to try many things to overcome the frustration. When we are calm and poised, we study effectively, and consequently, we learn. There is a distinct difference in the two, more than just how we feel and function. How we process determines how well we retain information and can recall. I have known this difference for some time, but today was a great reminder. I still have no idea what finally caused the TweetMeme button to function, but I got a blog idea from it.

I learned this while attempting to start my lawn mower several years ago. I checked to make certain it had gas and oil and confirmed that it did. I choked it, pulled, and wore myself out trying to get it started. I removed the spark plug wire and replaced it. I performed many things, including kicking it and eventually, for some mysterious reason, it started. The next time it would not start, I proceeded through the exact same activities before it started (yes I kicked it again). Had I tried to start it after each thing I attempted, I would have been able to determine exactly which action worked. However, because I was oblivious as to why it started, I utilized the same technique each time for weeks. One day I tried the spark plug wire first, and it started right up. The next time I did not have to go through all the movements trying to figure it out because I had diminished the difficulty.

Frustration and negative thinking affect us when we struggle to figure something out. Our awareness is lessened and we cannot effectively recall anything but what we did before. When we set out with the focus of troubleshooting something, we are more aware of each step we take and what works. In addition, because we understand the situation on a higher level we recall what worked. This helps us refrain from trying the same thing and expecting the same results. Even though I manage to figure things out, I still have unanswered questions. If someone asks me how I did it, I have to say I have no idea. Each time I figure something out, the next time I recall everything I did before it worked. Every time I set out to troubleshoot something, I clearly remember what route finally brought forth the results.

Sandra Hendricks, EzineArticles.com Expert AuthorWhat is the contrast in figuring something out and troubleshooting? When you try to figure something out, you focus on the problem. With the method of troubleshooting, you focus on the solution and retain vital knowledge. I think that patience is the key to finding an answer to any situation. When we focus on a solution we are more in tune with what we are trying to achieve and find that kicking is not a part of the solution.


4 Comments to “The Difference In Troubleshooting and Figuring Things Out”

  1. Sandra,

    This is another thought provoking post. It is something similar to thinking about something and thinking of something. When we think about problems we focus on the problem. We think of ways to improve something and we focus on the solution.

    Thanks for an inspiring post.

    .-= Marion Anderson´s last blog ..How to Create a Perfect Day =-.

  2. Exactly. That’s one reason why I named my blog Calm Growth. Without a calm mind there is no growth and learning.

    Somewhere I heard a story about a man who is trying to untie the knot while angry, and fails. The more he tries, he becomes more frustrated and angry. Point: angry mind can not untie a knot and can not solve the problem. Disturbed mind can not learn or grow. Personal growth comes from an open and calm mind.

    • Sandra says:

      Hey Marko, your perspective continues to inspire and astonish me. Thank you for being yourself!

  3. Dia says:

    Hi Sandra,

    Very nice post. Many people make the mistake and focus on “figuring out” part and they tend to focus on the problem, while they should focus on the solution or as you call it “troubleshooting.” If we focus only on the problem, then that wouldn’t solve anything. Thanks for sharing.

    .-= Dia´s last blog ..How to overcome fear permanently =-.