“Surrounding yourself wiith spiritually-tuned, well-grounded people is the single most important first step….The work of solving the problem is secondary to getting your team together. People who try to do it on their own rarely make it–and when they do, they usually cannot sustain the effort.” –Cloud/Townsend

When faced with a problem or difficult situation, what is the first thoughts that come to your mind? If you’re like me, it’s how to solve it using some experience or tool that I’ve used before. That’s not adaptive problem-solving, meaning that each scenario is different than a previous one, and most cannot be solved using the same formula–especially if it involves people! 

The first step is to gather wise counselors around you who are not emotionally connected to your problem, who can sense what God would have them say to you, to point you in the solution direction.  The “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” mentality might get you some short-term wins, but sustainable conflict-resolution usually requires a few heads together who bring different perspectives to the table.  And, let’s be real: isolation during hard times just adds insult to injury. Having some traveling companions who can empathize surely makes the dark times a bit brighter.