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Relentless Solution Focus

Train Your Mind to Conquer Stress, Pressure, and Underperformance

By Jason Selk, Ellen Reed
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Relentless Solution Focus by Jason Selk, Ellen Reed

Relentless Solution Focus (2021) shows how having a more optimistic mindset can transform our lives. Using a three-step process, the authors share insights, tools, and frameworks for developing the mental toughness needed to strip away our tendencies toward negativity.

Key idea 1 of 9

Cultivating the Relentless Solution Focus mindset can help us overcome our natural tendency to think negatively.

How easy is it for you to stay positive, especially when everything around you seems to be going wrong? Do you find it virtually impossible to win? If so, rest assured you’re not alone! That's just how human brains are wired to work – we automatically focus on problems. This is what the author describes as problem-centric thought, or PCT. 

PCT is so natural that we’re usually unaware of our negativity. But this isn’t good for us. Negative thinking has harmful repercussions – it limits our potential and increases stress.

However, there is good news: we can fight back.

The key message here is: Cultivating the Relentless Solution Focus mindset can help us overcome our natural tendency to think negatively.

When we adopt the Relentless Solution Focus, or RSF, mindset, we learn to think about solutions instead of problems. At this point, you might be thinking that RSF is simply about being more optimistic. But actually, there’s a lot more to it than that. RSF helps us to see the good in our lives and focus on how we can improve our circumstances. 

So how do we apply RSF? First off, we need to control our thoughts. Remember that our brains can only fully focus on one thing at a time. When challenges fill our minds, we’re unable to come up with potential solutions because we’re caught in a spiral of negativity. So instead of concentrating on the problem, we need to focus on the solution.

This process worked for one of the author’s former clients, called Justin. He was doing very well in his career, but it was affecting his family life; he wanted a better balance between the two. He quickly identified a solution: get to work an hour earlier every day. But it didn’t all go as smoothly as he’d hoped. It turned out he wasn’t a morning person, and it was a struggle for him to get up at 6:00 a.m. every day. 

Rather than focusing on the struggle of getting up early, Justin decided to start identifying additional solutions. He told himself he had to learn to become a morning person. He decided to start going to bed early on work nights, giving himself some flexibility on the weekends. By adopting a Relentless Solution Focus mindset, Justin was able to proudly declare that he was a morning person six months later. And by getting to the office just one hour earlier, he achieved his goal of being able to leave work two hours earlier – with energy left to spend with his family. 

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