Everything is figureoutable

The art of problem-solving

We all have problems. The heater in your home quit during a cold snap. Your office internet provider seems more unreliable by the day. Your recent applicants are considering canceling after reflecting on how large their lifetime expectancy set aside will be.

The question isn’t how to avoid problems but how we will handle them.

Perhaps the best mindset can be found in the title of author and entrepreneur Marie Forleo’s book ‘Everything is Figureoutable”. Is there such a word? There is now. Here are some of her best quotations.


“The most powerful words in the universe are the words you say to yourself.”

“I win or I learn, but I never lose.”

“Insight without action is worthless. Taking action is the only path to change.”

There’s a certain pragmatism in her writing that warrants careful consideration and perhaps application for each of us working in the trade of reverse mortgage lending.

However, if we’re honest not every problem may have a solution. That’s a fact elected officials and policymakers often forget. Instead, some problems require us to go around the obstacle finding another path.

The best problems to address are those we have control over. Each problem should be examined, held up close, and scrutinized. Is it something I can influence? Is there another way? Is the obstacle that stands in front of me the path to a win? Do I hack my way through the bramble or find a path around it?

Life and business are chaotic in their very nature. A principle military planners have embraced in their training practicing chaos. Reverse mortgagee professionals have had ample practice in the last several years. The question is if everything is figureoutable?

1 comment

The Positive Realist January 21, 2020 at 10:44 am

It helps to see life from a different point of view to understand new or improved ways to deal with it. The book that Shannon brings to our attention attempts to do that.

The easy way to deal with things is to be an optimist or be a pessimist but a harder way is to be a positive realist. Being a realist means avoiding the anecdotal in favor of finding the empirical. It takes more work but when one is done, there is substantial evidence supporting that outlook. On the other hand living as a pessimist or an optimist means following the anecdotal where one is subject to the veracity in the hearsay presented to them which far too many times is nonexistent.

When we hear of the feats of General Patton, it would seem he was an optimist but even he said that why he was so successful was because he knew his men and what it took to motivate them to accomplish the challenges he set before them. General Patton was more of a positive realistic general than an optimist or pessimist in his approach to winning on the battlefield. He was also a realist in not trying to fight a battle where he could easily be pinned down. He was in many ways a vain man but also a true warrior.

On the other hand PM Chamberlain was an optimist. He went to Hitler to get a lasting peace in spite of everything that spoke against it. Even when Hitler broke the treaty Chamberlain believed he could get Hitler back in line. Chamberlain probably never heard of the parable of once the toothpaste is out of its tube, it is all but impossible to get the toothpaste back inside the tube. Also the PM totally misunderstood his opponent believing instead the hearsay about him..


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