Home > Blog > Problem Solve Instead

When things go wrong, think and problem solve instead of just reacting

Yes, cry, scream - do what you need to get your emotions out of the way, and then get down to business:

solve the problem at hand

Yes I know we all have emotions and they can be overwhelming, but as I shared in an article "Complaining" that these acts of ventilating though it can be cathartic and seemingly helpful when done in moderation...

...but when taken out of hand, it can become and be a nasty bad habit that is a vicious cycle of negativity and helplessness.

Yes, emotions are good. Yes, communications is good...but I'd like to highlight the importance of moderation and functional progress.

When is it not good to ventilate/react?

  • when it takes up more than 5 minutes or up to 5% of your working day
  • when it gets in the way of you actually participating in life
  • when your friends are either only negative/complainers/reactors
  • when your relationships become moreso negative
  • when it isn't appropriate eg its a happy event, or a funeral, or something where it doesn't fit in
  • and more

the problem is because it's addictive and habitual

I love habits and routines.

GOOD habits and routines allows us to progress, grow and have fun.

BAD habits and routines, on the other hand, helps us to regress, ungrow and take fun in bad/negative stuff.

It's like this:

  • say I develop a habit of walking 30 minutes a day and drinking only plain water or unsweetened drinks versus me developing a habit of only sitting down and drinking 1-2 cans of sweetened drinks a day
  • or when someone makes a mistake or was particularly having a bad day and it was projected to me; I harp on that for the rest of my day (and maybe life) and whenever I see the person I will always think that he/she is nasty...as opposed to me saying "looks like you're having a tough day today, hope it gets better"

What do you think?

The real problem is truly:

  1. People who focus on complaining/venting/etc AREN'T AWARE that they're doing it ie they think it's normal when it's not good or normal
  2. People who are aware but DON'T KNOW how to change it
  3. People who are aware and DON'T CARE (if this is you...please go away).

I find the best way to get rid of a bad habit is not to destroy it (too hard man), but instead, to REPLACE it with something better, easier and with good/better outcomes that makes me happier.

how to develop problem solving approach to dealing with problems

I take a very simple 4 step approach to deal with setbacks, pain, personal attacks:

  1. CLARIFY: is this targeted at me? Sometimes people, when in bad moods, just flare up at anyone and anything that moves. So when it's not targeted at me but I was just nearby, I try to just ignore and walk away.

  2. QUALIFY: if it's really targeted at me...is it justified? Is it worth my time? If yes, I set a time limit of say 5 min for simple problems and up to 1 hour for complex problems just to wallow.

  3. HOW TO PROGRESS: so once step 1 and 2 is done, then I actually do the old school way: understand the problem, what caused it, and what are the potential solutions for it

  4. EXECUTE: after weighing out the solutions, it's time to execute on the best decisions, then move on.

And that's it.

This is a very general framework that can be applied to most situations in life, be it relationships, finance/money, career, passive income and more.

The real challenges are:

  • awareness of it
  • taking time to think and problem solve
  • executing on them consistently despite being busy/no motivation


join the passive income family

Don't drown in the details - get the free fundamentals of passive income and early retirement and make your first $100 online.

Join the passive income family & newsletter below and get a bonus "Boring Blueprint To Passive Income & Early Retirement"

  • Learn how I started with less than $100 in my bank account from 2005-2008
  • ...turned my life and money around and by 2014
  • ...paid up my $390,000 flat in full in less than 5 years
  • ...starting making USD 40+ online per month
  • ...invested in dividend stocks for passive dividend income for recurring cashflow...for life!

You will also get subscriber-only Passive Income Tips, Starting & Growing Online Businesses Updates, Special Offers/Discounts and More - see you on the inside!

Talk soon!


Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

No spam ever - your email is never shared and you can unsubscribe anytime with one click.

Enjoyed this article? Share it with your friends by clicking one of the buttons:

Even better - share your thoughts and comments below:

Back To Top

Search In NigelChua

Current Projects

Nigel Chua

Nalco Group

Therapy Entrepreneurs

Xtend Health Asia

Wisdom Of Seneca

Bee Pollen For Health

#1 Recommended Online Business University And Platform

Solo Build It!

More than 95% of my online businesses and publishing works use the Solo Build It platform, for good reason. Find out here.

GetResponse Email Marketing

Building a relationship with your audience, customers and readers are highly important for any offline and online business, and I recommend GetResponse for their services, great price, ease-of-use.

Try GetResponse today (1st month free)

Bonus: learn how to use an email autoresponder

The Hoth

TheHoth can help to outsource your guest posting, article writing and backlinking marketing activities. Visit them here.

Google Suite

Google Suite (GSuite) is THE recommended Google tools for email, calendar, documents, sheets - for productivity  and communication.

GSuite/GMail one month free trial available here.


Shopify has made it very easy to start an ecommerce business, solving most of the tech and logistical barriers and even has product suppliers with Oberlo!

Try Shopify today

Books I'm Reading

Holy Bible

Tribe Of Mentors

Seneca Letters From A Stoic

Seneca On The Shortness Of Life

See my full book/read list here.

Blogs I'm Following

Tim Ferriss

Pat Flynn

Tony Robbins

Ramit Sethi

Personal Goals

SGD 2,000,000 invested in dividend stocks with average 5% returns per annum by 45

SGD 2,000,000 in cryptocurrency

Owning, affording and living in a landed property in Singapore (or relocated to another country without worry of money) by 40

Publish at least one book by 40 years old

Online businesses serve readers and clients well (ie readers make more money, have happier/freer life etc), and website makes SGD 10,000 per month

Ongoing: spend more quality time with children, wife, family, bible, God.