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126 problems: how to fix them

Can AskDwightHow fix all problems?

When I refer to "all problems," I'm specifically addressing those issues that result in suffering, not general challenges such as "How can I learn to ride a bicycle?" or "How can I cure cancer?" Instead, I'm focusing on internal problems - those that originate from our thoughts and beliefs clashing with reality, as these are the root causes of suffering.

Interestingly, external issues like "How can I learn to ride a bicycle?" only become problems to an individual if perceived as such. This isn't to discount the impact of resolving some external issues (for instance, "How can one maintain a diet for vitality and health?") in ameliorating internal problems. But even then, it's generally more effective to first manage the internal issue (the misconceptions in your thinking causing distress) before tackling the external one.

In 36-plus years (as of July 2023)...

In my extensive career spanning over 36 years as a life coach, where my role has been to assist individuals in resolving or eliminating the issues they're grappling with, I've identified just three fundamental causes that underlie the multitude of diverse problems I've been asked to address.

The three basic reasons that account for all problems

Some problems are a combination of two or three of these reasons.

Only these three reasons

I keep looking, but so far no one has presented me with a problem that is not accounted for by one or more of this "gang of three." If you think you know of such a problem, I'd love to hear about it.

Here are all the problems

Here, I present a list of 126 problems. Each could further be subdivided into several sub-categories, thereby potentially extending the list. While I anticipate this list may grow over time, I encourage you to share any issues you think aren't encompassed herein.

The problems are loosely sorted based on which root cause, if effectively addressed, would lead to their resolution. For some problems, there might be a degree of overlap among the three causes, meaning that resolving one or two could contribute to the overall solution. In cases where overlaps occur (for example, "feeling guilty"), the issue is included in more than one category.

Making friends with your fear and choosing courage consistently solves these problems (FFI toolkit)

  1. Angry at or blaming others

  2. Anxiety

  3. Arguing with others and trying to change their mind

  4. Defensive with others

  5. Difficulties with saying “no”

  6. Feeling embarrassed or shy

  7. Feeling envy

  8. Feeling exhausted

  9. Feeling guilty

  10. Feeling jealousy

  11. Feeling irritable

  12. Feeling overwhelmed

  13. Feeling pressured

  14. Feeling regret about what you did or did not do in the past

  15. Feeling stress

  16. Feeling that life is serious

  17. Feeling that something is difficult

  18. Getting upset with yourself or others when things don’t go has expected

  19. Impatient with yourself or other

  20. Indecisive or confused

  21. Needing to catch up with things

  22. Not accepting that you’re powerless in many situations

  23. Not living a life true to yourself

  24. Lack of confidence

  25. Perfectionism

  26. Problems with maintaining good boundaries with others

  27. Problems with making requests

  28. Trying to control others

  29. Unwilling to share yourself more openly and with vulnerability

  30. Worry

Creating and maintaining Now-Next Integrity solves these problems (NNI toolkit and NFS toolkit)

  1. Avoiding making promises to yourself or others

  2. Eating unhealthfully or too much

  3. Feeling bad when you don’t get what you want

  4. Feeling behind on things

  5. Feeling bored

  6. Feeling guilty about not taking care of your future

  7. Feeling incomplete about not getting things finished

  8. Feeling pressured by deadlines

  9. Feeling that life is hard

  10. Feeling that life is meaningless

  11. Getting distracted and having difficulty staying focused

  12. Giving up easily

  13. Lack of persistence

  14. Laziness

  15. Lacking life directions you’re happy with

  16. Not ambitious enough

  17. Not at a good weight

  18. Not enjoying learning or taking classes

  19. Not enjoying now

  20. Not enjoying the process and journey

  21. Not enough energy

  22. Not enough exercise

  23. Not enough good entertainment

  24. Not enough holidays or breaks

  25. Not following through on plans

  26. Not getting enough sleep or being well rested

  27. Not giving up when giving up would be best

  28. Not having a job you love

  29. Not having a lifestyle you love

  30. Not having enough money

  31. Not having enough time

  32. Not having resourceful moods

  33. Not keeping promises to yourself

  34. Not making daily plans

  35. Not moving around enough

  36. Not scheduling adequate buffer time in your day,

  37. Over promising to yourself or to others

  38. Problems with gambling

  39. Problems with using drugs, smoking, or alcohol

  40. Procrastinating

  41. Tolerating things or others

  42. Too ambitious

  43. Trying to do too much at once or rushing to get things done

  44. Under estimating how long things will take to do

  45. Urgent things push out important things

  46. Waiting for things to be over

Creating and maintaining Oneself-Others Integrity solves these problems (OOI toolkit)

  1. Arguing with others and trying to change their mind

  2. Avoiding addressing conflicts with others

  3. Blaming others

  4. Blaming others when they blame you

  5. Dropping out of communication with others

  6. Feeling betrayed by others

  7. Feeling bored by others

  8. Feeling controlled by others

  9. Feeling disappointed in others

  10. Feeling disrespected

  11. Feeling grief or remorse

  12. Feeling guilty regarding others

  13. Feeling hurt or offended by others

  14. Feeling lonely

  15. Feeling others are obligated to you

  16. Feeling others don’t meet your expectations

  17. Feeling resentment towards others

  18. Feeling shy or embarrassed with others

  19. Feeling taken advantage of by others

  20. Feeling that dealing with others is difficult

  21. Feeling that others are unfair to you

  22. Feeling unloved

  23. Feeling you are obligated to other

  24. Getting defensive with others

  25. Getting irritated with others

  26. Issues with selling yourself to others

  27. Not being curious about and asking about what others think of you, whether positive or negative

  28. Not being okay when others make requests of you

  29. Not being present with others and listening to them deeply

  30. Not feeling listened to

  31. Not having a girlfriend or boyfriend that you want to have

  32. Not having a partnership attitude with others, especially when there is a disagreement

  33. Not having enough friends, Not having enough solitude

  34. Not keeping good boundaries with others

  35. Not making requests of others that you’d like to make

  36. Not risking that others may say “no” to you

  37. Not saying “no” to others when you need to say “no”

  38. Not sharing openly and authentically with others

  39. Not keeping your promises to others

  40. Not looking for ways to create mutual self-interest with others (you don’t sacrifice for them and they don’t sacrifice for you)

  41. Over promising to others

  42. Problems with ending conversations

  43. Problems with starting conversations or keeping them going

  44. Problems with trying to rescue others

  45. Problems with any family members

  46. Problems with your girlfriend, boyfriend, lover, or spouse

  47. Tolerating others

  48. Trying to control others

  49. Unresolved conflicts with others

  50. Withdrawing from others

Using the toolkits


Many problems can be fixed using the tools inside just one of the above toolkits. Some problems, however, require tools taken from two or more of these toolkits. For example, if someone is having difficulty saying “no” to a request from a friend for a loan, they will most probably require using tools from the FFI toolkit to make choosing courage easy, the NNI toolkit to support the integration of both their short-term and long-term desires and interests, as well as the OOI toolkit, to support the integration of them taking care of themselves as well as their concern for their friend.

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