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The Inner Dragon: Solutions

Problems are everywhere, but solutions are more scarce. Some people aren’t willing to put in the thought and the work necessary to find real solutions to real problems. But fiercely creative people are. 

Our Unleashing Your Inner Dragon series has been all about the power, possibility, and potential that is created when you allow your inner dragon of fierce creativity to leave its cave of fear and breathe fire into the world. We’ve talked about the beliefs we have about unleashing this inner dragon, and today, we’re exploring another one:

We believe in solutions.

Life is full of challenges, many of which we don’t feel like we can handle. There are hard things happening in the world, all the time, and it can be overwhelming, on both an individual and a communal level. Fierce creativity is willing to take on those challenges. When your inner dragon awakens, it’s because it cares about a challenge it perceives. It’s because it realizes that someone needs to do something, and it is willing to rise to the occasion.

Your inner dragon is fierce, but it’s not randomly destructive or violently out of control. Rather, it works on solving real, meaningful problems—whether they involve you, your family, your community, or the entire world. The size of the problem itself is less important than the willingness to solve it, and the fierceness applied toward finding the solution. 

With that said, let’s break down our belief in solutions.

“Life is full of challenges, many of which we don’t feel like we can handle. There are hard things happening in the world, all the time, and it can be overwhelming, on both an individual and a communal level.”

Unfortunately, this requires very little explanation. Everyone faces challenges every day, some big, some small. Everyone has a different capacity for handling those challenges. For some people, getting out of bed in the morning is a challenge they struggle to overcome. Other people tackle financial troubles, career setbacks, social rejection, single parenthood, chronic illness—things that we might consider “bigger” problems. Challenges hit us in different ways at different times, but the existence of challenge, adversity, and hardship is universal. 

“Fierce creativity is willing to take on those challenges.”

The challenges that hit us the hardest can tempt us into a victim mentality. When you have a victim mentality, you tend to:

  • Complain about problems
  • Feel out of control or powerless
  • See the world as a dangerous or threatening place
  • Blow problems out of proportion
  • Feel overwhelmed easily, especially when your plans are thrown off
  • Feel paranoid or like people are “out to get you”
  • Underestimate your own ability to handle or solve problems

Clearly, a victim mindset is not very conducive to happiness.

“The victim mindset will have you dancing with the devil, then complaining that you’re in hell.”

Steve Maraboli

A victim mentality is not a creative one—it’s a reactive one. Victims see life as something that happens to them, not for them or because of them. Because of this, victims feel powerless to solve the problems they face; after all, the world is in charge, not them. 

Fierce creativity, however, is willing to look for solutions. It’s willing to push itself to its limit to find a fix or an answer to even the biggest, most complicated problems. Why? Because it believes that it’s possible. Fierce creativity helps you recognize that there is always something you can do to try to make things better. 

“When your inner dragon awakens, it’s because it cares about a challenge it perceives.”

The problems that overwhelm us the most are the ones that are likely to send us into victim thinking, which means they’re the ones we’re most likely to ignore. But that’s probably a sign that they’re also the most important ones to address.

An inner dragon recognizes this. Your inner dragon wants to solve these problems, because it cares about the problem it’s facing—and by extension, so do you. Your inner dragon will be spurred to solve the problems you really care about.

Are you going to let your inner dragon take a shot at solving these problems, or are you going to shut it up and force it back into its cave?

Again, your inner dragon isn’t a random, uncontrollable, violent force: it’s the passion and fierceness inside of you that awakens to find solutions that will have a meaningful impact on your life. You have to let it out. If you don’t, your powerful inner dragon becomes virtually powerless.  

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“It’s because it realizes that someone needs to do something, and it is willing to rise to the occasion.”

“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution.”

Tina Fey

There are big problems in the world. There may be big problems (or problems that feel big) in your personal life. But here’s the question you have to ask yourself: Am I willing and able to be part of the solution? If I don’t do something, who will?

You don’t have to be an expert in the field. You don’t have to wait for someone else to tell you what to do. If you care about a problem, you have all the permission you need to start working on a solution.

To be clear, not every problem is going to be yours to solve. You can’t carry the weight and responsibility of every problem on your shoulders. That’s not realistic or healthy. But if something really resonates with you, if there’s a problem that impacts you in a powerful way, that’s when it’s time to let the inner dragon out. That’s when it’s time to start thinking of fiercely creative solutions that will help you “create happy” in your life and/or in the world. That inner dragon is waiting to be used. Use it.  

Design your thoughts to find solutions

Not everyone finds it easy to think thoughts that drive them toward solutions. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that the opposite is true: most people tend to default toward victim thinking, overwhelm, discouragement, and ultimately, inaction.

The good news is that you have the power to control your thoughts. You can work to design thoughts that pull you out of victim thinking and help you find meaningful solutions to meaningful problems, even if they feel overwhelming at first. 

Here are some new thoughts to try on to help you be a little less victim-minded and a little more solution-oriented.

Instead of thinking…Try thinking…
“This problem is too big for me to handle.”“What small step could I take today?”
“I don’t even know where to start!”“What is the next right thing to try?”
“The world is a dangerous place.”“The world is full of tools for me to use as I work to solve problems. I just have to look for them.”
“This isn’t my fault.”“It’s not my fault, but it’s become my problem. What can I do about it?”
“I can’t do anything right.”“I have the desire to do something, and that’s enough to motivate me to try.”
“No one ever gives me the help or support I need.”“I always have resources at my disposal. If people are unable to help me, it’s probably not personal.”

The next time you find yourself thinking like a victim, reshape your thought to be oriented toward action and solutions. Your inner dragon will thank you for it.

Focusing on solutions, rather than on problems, is a hallmark of fierce creativity. Fierce creativity is all about tackling the problems no one else wants to tackle. It’s about thinking of innovative solutions that address problems in new ways. And it’s about giving your inner dragon more power to breathe fire and passion into the causes that you believe in. 

The world is full of problems. It’s up to us to create the solutions. 

Start creating solutions, with Design.org.

Design.org’s free, personalized coaching program can help you find solutions that will help you “create happy” in your life. Start by taking our assessment, and discover the difference that focus, intention, and guidance can make.