What’s your problem? Is there a problem? Are the two of you having problems?

It seems there’s rarely a positive or affirming connotation when the word “problem” is posed to us. In fact, it’s jarring. So why is it that we become so problem-focused in our lives? We notice extra padding around our thighs or abdomen and we obsess over every morsel we put in our mouths, counting carbs or calories or fat grams and then lamenting over whether we should be “good” or “bad” when a piece of cheesecake is put in front of us. We feel a money crunch and we panic to fever pitch, applying for random jobs, hoarding our funds and losing our belief in self.

How is that method working for you? Is it realistic or effective for the long haul? Is it really worth pouring your energy into the problem? Try shifting your mindset. Focus on the solution or right path. Don’t underestimate the power of baby steps. They’re not just for babies. Ask yourself what you can do today that will take you one step closer to your goal.

Instead of trying yet another diet plan, make your goal to live healthier. Shun the gimmicks and quick fixes. We all know what living healthy means: eat what you like in moderation and exercise regularly. Instead of panicking about your finances, stay the course and forge ahead in a calm fashion. Family members, potential clients, investors, employers, and co-workers will respond to your vibe accordingly. If things get dire, feel the fear, take a deep breath, and then find a way to stare it down. Use the power of positive thinking to your advantage.

“Nature has endowed man with absolute control over but one thing, and that is THOUGHT,” writes Napoleon Hill in his 1937 international bestseller Think and Grow Rich.

Challenge yourself to control your thoughts. Transform the negative notion into a positive one. Approach the solution with a sense of purpose. You’ll see the rewards soon enough.