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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


Where to next?

Head to Home Page

Start with these:

  1. Start Here
  2. FIRE Manifesto
  3. FIRE 101 and
  4. The Passive Income Lifestyle Framework.

They are my recommended to start with articles that ties in the entire framework, philosophy and working model of FIRE Lifestyle

Save-Earn-Invest More Articles

  1. Ruthlessly Cull Unnecessary Expenses
  2. Respect The $10s
  3. Small Tweaks To More $10s
  4. $150K+ By 35 - Reality Or Delusion?
  5. Start An Online Side Hustle With Solo Build It
  6. Start Investing For Passive Dividend Income In Just 3 Days
  7. How To Retire With $3 Million
  8. Invest To Spend On Luxury & Liabilities (Whatever You Want*)
  9. Shocking Maths Of Early Retirement (It's Less Than You Think)

See more Save, Earn & Invest More articles here.


  1. Contact me by email at (even just to say hi) at nigel@nigelchua.com
  2. See the latest articles and updates at the blog
  3. Check out my resource page to see the tools I use
  4. See my top two resources for online business below: Wealthy Affiliate (left) and Solo Build It (right) - both have very specific strengths and functions

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