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A problem can be defined as:
A PERCEIVED BARRIER TOWARD A DESIRED OUTCOME
A “desired outcome” could be in a form of creating or accomplishing a desired condition, situation, or some form of reality. It could also be in a form of maintaining a desired condition when something threatens its continuation.
Traffic could be a problem when someone needs to get somewhere in a short amount of time, but it could actually be a “blessing” if someone wanted to have a good excuse of not making it somewhere. Dirty dishes (barrier) could be a problem IF someone wanted to have a clean kitchen (desired outcome). Nightmares or some form of mental affliction could definitely be a problem if someone wanted to have a peace of mind and more control over their mental operation.
Someone’s “counter-intention” could definitely be a problem IF someone needed or desired some form of cooperation from that other person (desired reality) or if the one with counter-intention continued to take actions which lead to some unwanted conditions or situations. However, a “counter-intention” is only one among many different forms of a problem that can be identified.
Problems can be identified with a simple question:
What is your perceived barrier to … [desired activity or accomplishment]?
The question could be simplified to:
What do you see as a barrier to …?
An individual needs to determine what it is that (s)he wants to do or accomplish and then identify what it is that (s)he perceives to be in the way. It is important to have “perceived” (or “see”) in the question in order to prompt the person to become aware of and self-reflect on one’s own perception of that which (s)he has conceived to be a barrier.
What is your perceived barrier? [as a general question could be asked repeatedly]
Alternatively, a problem could also be defined as:
SOMETHING YOU PERCEIVE THAT YOU WANT TO CHANGE
Basically, whatever reality that you perceive that you want to be different – is a problem. It could be someone’s attitude, it could be some kind of a situation, it could be something about your body – anything that you perceive that you want to be different is a form of a problem. Many “problems” can seem to resolve by simply addressing and taking responsibility for one’s own formulated perceptions. This could include discovering and addressing potential reasons behind formulating perception of something in a certain way.
What should change?
– is another good question to identify problems
Yet another simplified definition of a problem could be:
PERCEPTION OF SOMETHING WRONG
What do you perceive as being wrong?
Could be a simple question to identify perceived problems.
The above two definitions can be combined into: PERCEPTION OF SOMETHING WRONG THAT SHOULD BE CHANGED.
Imagined problems can also be seen as made-up, illusory, or imaginary problems.
Perhaps, some differentiation should be made between an imagined problem – an IDEA of some problem that can be resolved through address to functions of the mind alone – and a CREATED problem – an actual problematic condition or situation that has to be addressed and resolved. A created problem can often start as an imagined problem that could manifest into an actual condition or situation. For example, a couple that is told that they have a problem in their relationship, even when they don’t, can under the influence of such IDEA develop actual problematic conditions in their relationships.
Often times what we think to be problems with ourselves or something else are visions or ideas that we have adopted from other people from various channels such as verbal communication, books, tele-vision or other media, and even telepathy (something projected on you through the field of consciousness). For example, someone can learn of an idea that “ego” is a problem or that “negative thoughts” is a problem or “desires” and then believe that these things are a problem and expand efforts to try to resolve them, when in fact the source of the perceived problem may simply be an adopted idea that something is a problem, when it actually doesn’t have to be.
Effective questions could be formulated to identify perceived problems that were adopted from the visions of other people:
Is there anyone that had a problem with you? (such as something you did or said or thought or anything else about you) or simply:
Who had a problem with you? or
Is there anyone that created problems for you?
This can be followed by:
Did that person have similar problems with someone else? (to see if it was something that the person dramatized with respect to people in general).
On another end, a person can also be asked:
Is there anyone that you had a problem with? or Who did you have a problem with?
“You” is only one potential target of a “created problem” though a very common one. Someone could be stuck in a problem on any subject including other people in general. If someone is seen to stuck in some some of perceived problem, a question could be asked:
Do you know of anyone else that had a problem with this?
PROBLEMS DUE TO BLOCKED PERCEPTION
An individual can perceive to have a problem with something for which his or her perception was somehow blocked or invalidated.
For example, person S (source) observes something about person T (target of perception). Person S communicates one’s emerging perception about T to person I (invalidator, inhibitor) who in response invalidates that perception and criticizes person S for having it or may even make efforts to block person S from even trying to make observations and develop one’s own thought on the subject. Thereafter person S may experience a sense of psychological affliction or some form of problem (barrier) whenever directing attention at or even trying to think about person T or a similar subject and mistakenly attribute the sense of discomfort to the subject of observation itself, whereas the actual cause would be a blocked ability to freely observe and form perception of T that was caused by person I.
This could apply to virtually any area of observation where someone’s emerging thought or perception was somehow blocked or invalidated, especially by a source of perceived authority. This subject is discussed at greater depth on page SANITY AND INSANITY.