If you're anything like me, you probably handle problems by panicking and screaming obscenities until you black out. Every self-help book gives problem-solving tips that make it sound like you have to sit down with pen and paper for hours, coldly calculating the most efficient solution. But I've found that with just a little practice, every solution to every problem can be broken down with a few simple steps in a matter of seconds. And it all starts with ...
Step 1: Accept That The Problem Exists
Accepting that you have a problem is the most stupidly obvious step in coming up with a solution -- but it's also the most difficult. Addicts know what I'm talking about. It's called "denial," and it doesn't just manifest in crackheads and conspiracy theory nutjobs.
I KNEW it!
For many years, I was a complete douchebag to virtually everyone online, including people on our own forums. I had convinced myself that the world was full of dumbasses, and that I was the only one who truly "got it." So when someone said something that I disagreed with, I would explode at them and do my best to make them feel like a mental abortion. It took me every bit of a decade to finally realize, "Wait a minute. You might have some anger issues. And probably a significant case of narcissism. It's probably time to evaluate yourself before someone figures out where you live and gun-fucks your suckhole."
Admitting that was hard. It made me feel flawed. Weak. Dirty. Again, it sounds really obvious -- especially in hindsight -- but that admission was what kicked me into "fix your shit" mode. You can't take a crap on the surface of Mars before they build the ship that takes you there.
What It Looks Like In Action:
In the above video, Joey Ryan has found himself locked into a hold known in the wrestling world as "a cock claw" -- or, for more hardcore fans, "a cock and balls claw." In this situation, an average wrestler would panic and submit. But as we'll soon see, Mr. Ryan has mastered the art of problem-solving.
A mere three seconds into the video, Joey's facial expression changes from blind terror ...
... to calm and collected:
The above image is the exact second in which Joey has accepted his current predicament as a problem -- the moment when he can begin to formulate a solution. It's not something he needed to dedicate several hours of self-reflection to in order to deduce. It's more like an instinct. A subconscious buzz which produces an impulse.
In a fraction of a second, his subconscious has told him, "Your dick and a not-insignificant portion of your balls are currently locked into the vise-like grip of a large Japanese wrestler. This is a fact. That is really happening to you right now."
From there, Joey can do one of two things. He can ignore it and hope that his opponent stops doing that, or he can accept that it's a problem and formulate a plan to do something about it. In this particular problem, the goal of the other wrestler, Danshoku Dino, is to win the match by forcing his opponent to submit from the pain. So it is best deduced that he is not in fact going to stop squeezing Joey's dick. It is not in his best interest.
Once Joey has accepted this fact, he moves on to the next step ...
Step 2: Consider Your Options And Make A Plan Of Action
Let's say that you just got fired from your job at the zoo as a panda tickler, because you often confuse "tickling" for "punching in the face." You've accepted this as a problem, and now it's time to solve your current issue of "I have no money, and where the hell am I going to find another panda to tickle into unconsciousness?"
Your options are limited, but this isn't impossible. You could possibly get work at a wildlife reserve. Or, failing that, you could compromise the fine details of your skill set and learn to suplex giraffes. Or maybe just whip around some snakes while making "WHOOSH" noises with your mouth. Once you've settled on the options, it's just a matter of making your plan of action -- which is likely just handing out resumes and following up with various threats to potential employers until they crack from the fear and hire you.
What It Looks Like In Action:
Once Joey accepts that Dino is not going to relinquish his cock hold, he has to devise a way out of it. He must first consider his options:
- Accept defeat.
- Apply a greater amount of pain to his opponent, forcing him to let go.
- Perform a counter move that would secure his freedom.
This is a great illustration of knowing how to pick your battles. Defeat is not an option for Joey, because wrestling is how he makes his living. If he wants the money and the fame, he must win this match. So right off the bat, he can cross his first option off the list -- or at least move it down to the last resort.
His second option is better but not perfect. Obviously, Danshoku has not yet been worn down enough to be defeated by retaliation strikes, so punching him would have little or no effect. Kicking is also out of the question, because his dong is currently locked into a devastating hold. And since all wrestlers know that the penis is a man's center of gravity, kicks lose all power and accuracy.
Joey decides that this problem would be most efficiently solved by his third option: a counter maneuver. We're only six seconds into the video, and Mr. Ryan is already well on his way to conquering his pecker-crushing demons.
Now it's time to ...
Step 3: Execute Your Plan
This is where you get up off of your ass and do it. Where you actually write the resumes and send them off. Where you don't just decide to quit your addictions; you throw the vice away, or talk to a real-life, flesh-and-blood doctor to put the plan into motion. Far too many people have a plan of action, but keep it in a mental box marked "Someday Soon." Trust me when I tell you that the longer you put off the physical act of executing your plan, the less likely you are to ever do it.
The trick here is, when it's possible, to use your problem against itself. Recovering alcoholics do this all the time. The problem isn't the booze -- it's the addictive behavior itself. People who have successfully recovered know that, and they learn to point that addictive behavior in positive directions: hobbies, exercise, charity work ... something which helps occupy that obsessive part of their brain, instead of filling it with whatever poison has been slowly killing them.
Your problem is that you lost your job? Use that sudden burst of free time to find another one. Disgusted with your body? Use that disgust as motivation to get down on the floor and do some sit-ups. You're not funky enough to win the 40th Annual Funk-Off Competition? I'm afraid you're just out of luck there. You're either funky or you aren't. Cameo didn't practice to be Cameo. They just were.
What It Looks Like In Action:
Once Joey decides that the best course of action is to perform a counter move, he wastes no time in executing his plan. He knows that the longer he puts it off, the worse his dick pain is going to get. Not acting on it right away puts him at risk of losing consciousness from the immense pressure on his cock and balls. So without a second thought, he rounds up all of the strength he can muster and flexes his penis, redirecting the pressure from his tubesteak back into Dino's arm.
Then, when the time is right, he uses his big ol' floppy hog to whip his opponent across the ring.
The very dick which was the center of his dick problems becomes his dick solution. And the total amount of time it took for Joey to go from dick hold to dick toss? Twenty-two seconds. He used three simple steps to free his dick from his opponent's dick-crushing grip.
But take note of what happens after he tosses Dino. He does something important -- something that very few people remember to do after solving a problem ...