Stop Complaining About Life And Become Olivia Pope: A Fixer


If I am not the problem, then there is no solution

American Proverb

As you all may know, Scandal’s Olivia Pope is a professional fixer.  Every Thursday night we watch her take on the impossible and deliver the incredible. Olivia has become a prominent personality on T.V. as a “By Any Means Necessary” “Get the Job Done” problem solver. This amazing quality is something I believe we all possess but neglect to keep close in difficult times of need. Like her clients, we often look to others including a higher power to fix life’s quarrels and conundrums leaving us in need of outside intervention and lack of solving skills.

Growing up my mother would say “If you’re not the problem, then there is no solution.” For years I worked toward understanding what this meant. Over time I learned it meant any situation I was a part of and in need of a solution, should be provided one. This problem solving mentality gave me the opportunity to stop wasting my energy on the details surrounding issues and look for the solutions.  I realized through evaluating my choices and formulating a solution, I had so much more power over the outcome of my problems and interactions with others.

For example, in 2013 the father of my two beautiful daughters passed away in what was the most difficult month of my life. Days before he passed I stayed up for 48 hours battling with him, fighting for his life while trying to maintain my sanity. When I received the call that he was gone my heart stopped. I drove my car to a friend’s house, incoherent and at a loss for any words to explain what was going on in my head. Rest was all I could think of so that’s what I did. I laid in my friends bed as he entertained guests and slept.

Throughout the day I received calls and messages from hurt family members and friends expressing their grief and feelings.  After opening my eyes that evening I made a choice to stand strong and endure no matter what was going on around me. The big picture was taking care of my daughters. So, I endured the family, the service and being blamed for the passing of the father of my children. I held my head high through my tears and talked myself through my options. I could lay in bed and cry for days, I could go out and party to numb the pain, go back to work or I could take extended time from work and go on a vacation.

I decided to focus on my girls, going back to work and putting the remaining pieces of my life back together. I realized that without my strength and solution-based mentality everything around me would have fallen apart. This was the most empowering moment in my strength and capacity-building. If I could endure the pain, hurt and guilt of this tragedy then I could withstand anything that came my way.

To this day, friends and family members ask for advice about endurance and problem-solving. My motto is:

look at every problem and life occurrence as an opportunity for growth

think before you react to life

decide your actions based on your truth and a sound perspective

This does not mean to take on other people’s issues and find a solution for them. It means anything you deal with that is attached to you, affecting you, should be handled with a few things in mind:

What is my position in this situation?
Is there anything I can do to improve the outcome?
What is the big picture?
Based on my next choice of actions what are the possible outcomes of this situation?
Am I happy with my choice of actions?

Taking control of your life and responses to life will save you a ton of headaches and unnecessary turmoil. You are the designer of your destiny and its time for you to be comfortable being the fixer of your problems and creator of your own joy.


-Quyionah Brooklyn Wingfield

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