Life does not proceed in straight line. Most of the time, there are sharp edges and curves which push one away from the centripetal point and cause problems in the smooth surfing that we may assume for our days and nights. And we often think that,

“As embodied mind, the human being is trapped in contradiction, enmeshed in riddle and paradox, caught in a disquieting state that we struggle endlessly to evade through knowledge, revision, transcendence, and doomed efforts to reduce body to mind, or mind to body.”

(Spitz 151, 152)

Therefore, body and mind together, develop a best strategy that can solve any problem in any situation. We all should know that everything before its ultimate solution is normally called a problem, means that every problem is solvable. So, a problem, if taken in a rational and challenging way with self confidence and belief of finding the right solution for it, could be understood, simplified, targeted and solved.

Being an artist and art historian, I was extra sensitive towards emotional part of life which always added colors to it but concurrently, this added sensitivity often caused me problems in all walks of life, the greatest of which was the demise of my father while my final exam was just a week away.

In Asian countries, people are bound in close family associations and father is just like the captain of the ship. Economically, socially and emotionally the institution of family revolves around this pivotal figure. Consequently, it was the greatest problem of my life at the age of 23. The first thought, in grief and anger, that came to my mind was not to appear in my final exam. There was a feeling of some kind of revenge that I was bound with but, I did not know whom, I was angry with, and who actually was my enemy?

After twenty four hours of my father’s burial, the first lucid thought that came to my mind was to face the reality with courage.

It was hard but I had to collect myself; bit by bit. I needed to give myself a practical outline. I changed my atmosphere and moved from home to the university hostel. The evening was still full of hallucinations when I had a cup of hot coffee at the corner of a busy street. At night I was trying to catch the creeping alphabets that were looking like the alien creatures to me as my mind was shattered like straws. I stopped my reading and get my hands on few movies; Lust for Life, Moulin Rouge and Frida. It worked! My visual memory was in good shape and in this way I was providing myself some art-based information that was very helpful later on in my theoretical exam.

In retrospect, when I think about my problem, I can find that I was actually going after a certain problem-solving module by adopting the following steps, consciously or unconsciously.

Moving from depressive atmosphere of home to hostel helped me a lot in the process of solving my problem. In first step I had to define the Problem that was my depression and inability to take the final examination. In the second step I Measured the Problem carefully, its intensity, magnitude, and practicality of its solution. I contemplated my weakness and strength and mustered up all my courage in order to take a proper decision.

In third step I Set the Goal and provided my preparation a vision and direction, started my studies and equipped myself for exams. In the fourth step I Determined Root Causes, which were mainly my agony, disappointment and anger because I was unable to gather appropriate academic materials and proper guidance of a tutor.

In the fifth step I Selected Best Strategy by going for stress busters. Watching movies based on Fine Arts, indirectly prepared me for the exams. I had hangouts with my friends for relaxed and tension free attitude. Then in sixth step, I Implemented the Strategy properly and took my exams with confidence and courage, knowing that I was fully prepared and tranquil. I put my heart and soul into it without any fear of loss.

In the seventh step when I Evaluated Results, I found out that I had solved my problems nicely and had overcome my apprehensions and anxieties. When the result was announced I was successful in flying colors. In the eighth step I Implemented Appropriate Changes in the Process. To keep myself on the right track after the solution of that particular problem, I adopted optimism. Whenever there were phases of depression, my will-power, planning and decision-making were the best tools. This attitude developed a systematic and pragmatic zeal in my attitude towards life.

In the ninth step I focused on Continuous Improvement, after holding my degree I started my job to support myself financially and proved my own identity. When I consider that taxing scenario and review my effort in this regard, it gives me utter satisfaction that I took proper decision and countered the problem in a practical way. The last step recognition and celebration made me feel content and satisfied as I solved my problem with success because,

“The obstacles to recognition which they [elements] interpose give an extra fillip to the process of the recognition and increase our pleasure by providing a chain of difficulties to be overcome.”

(Thurston 39)

Life does not proceed in straight lines!



Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for writers of Research papers. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2003.

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English. Ed. Wehmeier, Sally, Ashby, Michael. 6th ed. Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Spitz, Ellen Handler. Image and Insight. New York: Columbia University Press, 1991.

Thurston, Carl. The Structure of Art. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1940.

Online Database:

“Problem-Solving Model”. BPI Consulting LLC. n. pag. 25 October 2009

Leave a Reply