What fairy tales teach us about defeating dragons

The writer G.K. Chesterton said that “Fairy tales are more than true – not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.” This is true. Fables and fairy tales are creatively written to teach children from a young age various lessons and skills. Dragons were beaten and the princess rescued is problem-solving skills and not necessarily only the swinging of a sword and bravery.

We all have our own dragons to fight whether it is at home, within ourselves or at the office. To be able to solve problems effectively and efficiently, are important skills to keep improving as you get older and face more intense problems.

Fairy tales with dragons teach us that no matter how big or terrifying the problem, it can be solved. The dragon can be beaten. People should be taught from an early age to solve their own problems and to think out of the box. In fact, no one should wait for a problem to be solved and it is also not suggested that all problems can be solved independently. Sometimes the more people involved in solving a problem, the more creative the solutions are.

Before we get too philosophical let’s take a step back. Let’s say, man or woman, you are faced with a problem the size of a dragon. You see the goal which is in the tower, so to speak. The obstacle you need to overcome to get to the goal is the problem, the dragon. How would you slay your dragon?

Obviously, each problem in context is different. But in essence, the techniques are the same. Firstly you identify what the true issue is you need to solve. It is important to dig deep and find the core of the problem. After identifying the problem, make sure you understand every involved party’s role and interests. Come up with a list of solutions or options. Take a step back and review your solutions. Rate your options and form a plan A to plan C/D. Then select and execute your chosen strategy. Afterward, it is very important to evaluate the outcome and see if there are lessons to be learned or if improvements can be made if faced with a similar problem in future.

As the saying goes: “if first, you don’t succeed, try and try again”. There is a solution to every problem. You just need to find it. Although some problems may spit fire, it makes you a stronger person and you learn from your mistakes. Problems are temporary. When you have a problem in need of solving, live by Voltaire’s quote: “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”

*The Mindspa Institute is a soft skill training provider with various customized training courses available to both the public and as part of human resource training initiatives within any organization, big or small. Our courses vary from decision-making and problem-solving, to leadership development and essential business skills. We also offer motivational talks at conferences, workshops or seminars. Visit our website www.themindspa.co.za for a full list of what we have to offer. Each course is structured to fit in with the South African workforce and is tailored to suit individual and organizational needs. For more information please contact liezl@themindspa.co.za.