365 Challenge: Day 110 – Solution-Oriented

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Solution-Oriented: used to describe a person who finds solutions to problems. Rather than dwelling on dilemmas, a person who is solution-oriented takes an active approach in solving them


As our picture for the word of the day suggests, we can either be solution or problem-oriented, when it comes to facing dilemmas. For most of my life, I’ve always been solution-oriented; however, I do feel it is important to spend an appropriate amount of time, dependent on the size of the issue, first focusing on the problem, so that you can clearly determine your collaborative objective and goals. And then you should turn your focus to looking at all the options for success and remediation rather than shoot down ideas because some part of it isn’t ideal or effective. OK… enough technical jargon… two things clearly on my mind today… and although both touch on politics, that’s not the intention at all.

Two issues happened in the last week which significantly annoyed me: (1) NY State Governor declared a state-of-emergency for the NYC MTA (subway and trains for those who don’t know) and (2) My primary care doctor is implementing a concierge-style service which will require me to pay more money each year. I’ll explain both in detail, and why the word solution-oriented seems to come to mind today.

(1) NYC Subways & Trains

  •  I do not claim to know all the problems with our transit system, nor what is holding us back from being able to fix them, so please don’t think my little summary here is anything more than a very personal and subjective thought. But it seems the Governor has given the MTA a 30/60/90 day ultimatum to fix the issue or… something will happen — not sure what that will be. They’ve asked for all rider input to help solve the problem.
  • Lots of derailments and shutdowns occurring recently, caused by both mechanical reasons and human failure. Air conditioning and venting has grown quite problematic, resulting in 100+ degree temperatures and minimal quality on the ride. The percentage of trains that are on-time is now far less than those which are late or canceled. The plan for the future has little strategic thought, the costs are increasing where it is in-affordable and there is very little in the way of communication or new technology being implemented.
  • Obviously, the people who have been in charge of this issue in the past have not been solution-oriented. I am throwing no shade at them, as I understand what it’s like to be in a business or company where everything is so inter-connected that it is very difficult to find a solution without annoying or hurting some part of the business or customer-base. But… that’s life… and sometimes you have to move forward despite the inconvenience. So… what I am thinking here is… this is a commuter-based transportation system that serves millions of NYC residents, workers and travelers. Surely we can build a solution that provides incremental change over some number of years and get to a place where we either (1) cough up more money to do it faster or (2) find a solution that provides some relief for different parts of the system and shut our mouths while the progress takes place.
  • But that’s just me… that’s how I approach a situation. I don’t know all the details here, but I’m pretty sure some smart minds can find a solution to this. That’s one of my strengths… maybe I should be running this program right now. Anyone have an in to get me hired there?


(2) Medical Insurance & Care

  • Ever since I’ve been an adult, I’ve been lucky enough to have a privilege where my job paid for a large portion of my medical insurance. I certainly paid a lot too, but I can say nothing when so many other people have had no insurance or no ability to pay for insurance. The problem has not really been at my door, and it wasn’t until my parents began somewhat struggling when my dad was able to collect Medicare but by mom had to get her own policy, as she’s a bit younger. They worked through a solution, and it was expensive, but they found a way to deal with it. Still, we are a lucky family.
  • Last week, my primary care physician mailed a communication to all patients that they are moving to a concierge-style service, where they will reduce existing patient counts to a much smaller population, offer a few additional services and charge an annual fee. For my age, it is $2K per year to remain a patient. Yes… $2K to stay or I can go somewhere else. While my doctor is perfectly lovely, and I’ve gone to him for 5 years since I moved into NYC, there’s nothing extraordinary in the sense that he’s top in his game for a specific illness I might have. Quite the opposite… I’m in very good health, and from 24 thru 34, I went to the doctor only two times — for a really bad sinus infection / flu-like thing… otherwise, I avoided doctors (that’s another story for another day).
  • So… I’m not angry or going to complain about this, as I’m sure there’s some logical reason this was the solution resulting from all the hullabaloo going on with the healthcare industry. And I’m not going to get political and blame anyone right now. Whether I can or can’t afford this fee isn’t the issue. For me, though as I get older I will need the doctor more, I can’t imagine why I’d pay $2K a year just to keep a doctor I will only go to once for a check-up. That’s what a walk-in clinic or new doctor might be for… but the partner and I are still thinking it through — as we’re both solution-oriented guys.
  • This is yet another situation where people responsible for managing healthcare options in the US (and perhaps other countries) are simply not taking this seriously enough and looking for true solutions. Instead, everyone finds a problem with every component and is unable to put forth changes that truly make a difference. No, I’m not saying we should pass the current new plan just to move forward… I’m saying we need to stop trying to fix everything at once and instead we should break this into smaller and more manageable pieces.
  • I’m sure there are smarter minds than mine working on this. And I’m sure there are honest and caring people not trying to include things other than healthcare in all the bills and laws. But enough is enough… we’re talking about healthcare for an entire country… and I can’t possibly see how going concierge-style is anything but beneficial for doctors who are being bled dry of any income because of all the shenanigans. So… if anyone knows how to put me in charge of all this… I need a challenge. I’m solution-oriented. And I thrive on helping people get what they deserve.


So… my little rant today is not to be taken in a political way… I’m not making a stance from a liberal or conservative, republican or democrat perspective. I’m simply stating something obvious that I apply in everything I do all throughout my life: let’s find a way to approach both of these topics in a solutions-oriented way where we don’t solve it all at once — but we break it down into manageable components where we drive positive change every day / quarter / month / year for the next few years until we are in a legitimately better place… and then we can squabble over the areas that people can’t agree on.

Simply put:  why should 80% of the population suffer to appease 20% who can’t get their heads out of their asses? Again, not political… just saying… put the right solutions-oriented people in place to solve problems. Not those who are in a place to have to deal with things that have nothing to do with the problem.

For anyone who wants to respond, I would totally love to hear from you about how people are solution or problem-oriented.  BUT one rule / condition… please don’t respond with political statements on who is doing well or not doing well, or rhetoric about specifically how to solve these two issues. That’s not the point of my 365 Daily Challenge and blog. I picked these two topics because they affected me this week, I saw a commonality between them, and I am relating it to people’s personalities and the way they approach things — like finding solutions to problems, whether those problems are the NYC MTA or US Healthcare… or how to teach a kid how to tie shoes in a velcro or shoelace-less world… or remember phone numbers with a device that might lose its battery. Someday, the whole technical world will stop and everyone will stare at space hoping to remember the number they need or the address they are looking for.

And if you can’t help yourself and have to say something political send it elsewhere or to me privately. 🙂 xoxo


About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.


10 thoughts on “365 Challenge: Day 110 – Solution-Oriented

    Nel said:
    June 30, 2017 at 9:44 AM

    I don’t know if this is political or not but you can delete it if you think it is.
    I think the number one problem is money. The minds are trying to think up ways that will be cost efficient but also trying to line their pockets (and I don’t mean that in a completely negative way; we all have to eat). I think the most challenging aspect is finding something that will be sustainable in the long run but I think even that is hard because the world is constantly changing in one way or another. I do agree that they need to focus on one aspect at a time because I think a small solution can lead to a bigger solution. Have to take baby steps before a giant leap.

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 30, 2017 at 9:51 AM

      Exactly… small steps or productive steps lead to bigger and better solutions, no matter what the problem is… better to make some improvements than hold back and never make any change. That’s how I always approach finding a solution. What’s the biggest bang for the buck, so to speak, and not about money.

      But in regard to your comment about money, I agree. There is a baseline of what everyone should have available in any solution, then if you can/want/have money for more, that’s a different option..

      Liked by 1 person

    cathleentownsend said:
    June 30, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    Health care is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. It’s hard not to be political when I see the possibility of 20 million Americans (including me) about to be without health care again.

    The health care industry is a powerful lobby. It’s hard to be solution-oriented on this one. I can write my representatives, but the democrats are already violently opposed to any changes to the ACA, and my Republican representative is strongly in favor of it passing.

    My solution (which nobody is going to endorse, but what the hell) would be to have everyone vote on it. Seriously. Have a national vote on what we want to cover. List everything separately. Vaccinations for children. Broken bones. Having a baby. Insulin for diabetics. Appendectomies. Start with the cheap stuff and work our way up. Everything we can think of up to and including a person’s third triple bypass.

    It would actually be a vote that mattered. Don’t see it coming our way anytime soon, but if a genie waved a magic wand, that’s what I’d want to try. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 30, 2017 at 11:36 AM

      Great input. And you’re thinking about it in a positive way (meaning trying to find solutions as opposed to others just complaining), which makes a difference. Such a mess is right. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

    Never Not Reading said:
    June 30, 2017 at 11:38 AM

    As a teacher, this happens in schools ALL THE TIME. For example, “Billy Bob is just so much trouble in class, he is always disruptive and I don’t even know what to do with him!” Instead of whining about Billy Bob’s problem, why don’t we look for a solution?

    Another classic example, lunchtime. At my last school lunchtime was out of control, and the lunch teacher had no idea what she was doing. But heaven forbid anyone actually suggest a solution.

    Our problem is often not that we don’t have solution-based thinkers on hand, the problem is often that the people in charge shoot down any solutions offered, rather than investigating if there might be a way to make it happen. The lunch thing, for example. I myself suggested and heard multiple other teachers suggest that a principal or vp should be present at lunch. In fact, I had never before been at a school where that wasn’t the case. But they just waved it off, “We can’t, we have too many meeting, the end.”

    School boards are also really good at shooting teachers down. 😦

    I loved this post though! I teach at a school that is all about teaching Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits, and Habit 1 is be proactive, and we talk a lot about being solution-focused instead of problem-focused.

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 30, 2017 at 12:08 PM

      Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate it. And I agree with you on schools being another place where it’s not always a solution-based approach to a problem. If the lunch teacher can’t control the room, then the principal or VP should get involved. Or someone on the board. Or even parents. Sitting down, eating lunch, being respectful is kind of an easy thing to do, and if parents don’t know it’s happening, they can’t really be part of the solution. I don’t work in the schools nor do I have children, but I could go on with you on about this one forever! So glad to hear your perspective. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    cwhiteweb said:
    June 30, 2017 at 4:27 PM

    I absolutely love these posts! Thought provoking! I’m off to talk to myself about it. I’ll get back to you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    Judy said:
    July 1, 2017 at 11:43 AM

    Going out on a limb. I lost my job (in the medical industry) and finally my insurance thanks to the “un-” Affordable Health Care Act, a bit of legislation that has nothing to do with health CARE and is all about INSURANCE. Until people are willing to stop calling an apple an orange, it is impossible to address the problem. You can’t solve a problem if you keep calling it something it isn’t. Insurance is a middleman, a middleman that needs to pay for himself, his employees, and his place of business. Over ten years ago, I had major medical, which meant my insurance didn’t kick in unless I was hospitalized. My deductible was $3,000. I herniated a disc in my back, not enough to require hospitalization. I approached every aspect of handling the situation with the attitude I wasn’t going to the hospital. I told everyone I worked with that I was paying for it myself and would never involve the insurance company. Had I gone through insurance, I would have had to pay the $3,000 and then the 80/20 split of a few thousand more. By paying for it myself, including everything that insurance wouldn’t have covered anyway (MRI, every doctor and specialist visit, epidural, medications, physical therapy, etc), it cost me less than $3,000. I saved money. Insurance doesn’t pay what the doctors and hospitals bill; it only pays a fraction of the cost, so the medical field ups the costs in the hopes that the actual cost will be paid. Hospitals were already required to treat anyone who came in, regardless of whether they could pay. Throwing the government in means that now the doctor is paid last, after the government (because someone has to run this thing and they have to have assistants, and a place to work) and after the insurance company (and all their minions). Pretending that adding more agencies (which means more people and more buildings) will reduce the cost of anything is magical thinking. As to concierge medical services, those with which I’m familiar, are meant to be used in place of the insurance company, i.e., taking insurance out of the doctor/patient relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 2, 2017 at 7:20 AM

      You bring up an interesting philosophy on the concierge services, in regards to paying for that instead of insurance. I don’t think that’s how this one works, but I plan to ask a lot of questions when I got for what could be my last annual check up with him next month.

      You make great points above. I’m not sure anyone really focuses on these aspects of the problems, but then again, I’m very removed from the actual planning and discussions.

      I’m glad you were able to find a solution given everything that happened. And I’m sorry for all the drama associated with it.

      Hopefully you are all healed now? Although with that issue, usually it continues in the future with some pain every once in awhile.

      I appreciate your share and additional thoughts and views on this one.

      Liked by 1 person

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