I have called myself primarily a Problem Solver for many years. I have highlighted this attribute about myself in job interviews. And right here when I talked about my purpose and joy. Have I gotten this wrong about myself though?
I really enjoyed working in the warehouse this past month. And I actually enjoy running errands like grocery shopping. Those are certainly helpful tasks, but not problem solving. I also enjoy learning and reading and new experiences. Sometimes what I learn or read or experience can be used to solve problems. But I’m realizing that once the new-ness is over, the problem solving is often no longer interesting!
The common thread is that I long to be actively engaged. That’s usually been mental engagement for me, but clearly that isn’t essential. Instead I’m beginning to see that mental work alone is mind-numbing when its not engaging. There may still be problems to solve, but at some point they may not be interesting problems to me. Kind of fits with my recent finding that my eanagram type is “gut” instead of “head”!
I don’t want to say I need to switch jobs or careers. At least not yet. 🙂 But I have such thoughts more and more often. Part of it is I am also realizing I hate sitting at a computer for long hours. At least if I’m not properly “engaged”. But I also have other sensory oddities that I can’t assume will just go away with a change. I am thinking though for the first time in a long time about what I really should be doing!
One thought on “Not Mainly a Problem Solver”
You might be on to something there. But, it might be helpful to look at what other people are comfortable with doing and not doing. Somebody not comfortable with problem solving might be that way for many reasons. Perhaps they don’t have the knowledge or potential to solve problems, or the action of solving problems brings them too much stress, or it is too exhausting.
When you look holistically at what a problem solver is capable of, I think they have to be multi-faceted people which is sort of what you are implying. That hunger for newness and novelty is what equips you with the capacity and knowledge to solve problems that are greater than you have before.
Just because we are interested in something, no matter how much that is true, doesn’t mean it’s always the case. Certain factors need to align, which is as you said. When something becomes too easy we stop entering a flow-state. With problem solving, when you have figured out and become comfortable with the most efficient process to fixing a problem, it loses some or all of its engaging quality. That is a point of time that likely correlates a lot with the newness of a problem.