Finding the Direction from Problem to Solution

What if I told you I call tell you where you are now? The answer is simple, you are here, wherever here is. Sort of a cheap shot but I do have a point. Very often, when helping people with problems, they tell me that they are stuck, that they don't know where to go from 'here' or what to do next.
I always begin by asking them the same thing, "Where are you now?" and "Where do you want go?". Most of the times they can answer one or the other but not both. They can tell me what is it they have now or what is it that they want. If they can answer both, they are on the right track. They know where they are and can describe the condition that they are in. They know what they want and what they can find once they reach there. All it takes at this point is go into the details. Depending on the answer given to the question "Where are you now?" they can either go into the details of the problem in Step2 or start finding possible solutions in Step3. Sometimes, it is also useful to ask "Where were you before?". Why? If you knew the way you came, which led to the current problem, you would know to avoid going down the same road in the future.

Let's come back to the first two questions. It is important to gain a sense of direction when you are solving a problem. A direction can be described as they way from one place to another. You already know the answer to the first question, where are you right now. Right here. Not convinced? Try describing what it looks like right here. Go through all that you know about your current situation. That is what I mean by knowing where you are. Knowing where you are means taking a look around and describing it.
Now you have to figure out where is it you want to be. Where do you want to go? What do you want to achieve? It is important that the destination be specific. So describe where do you want to go. Talk about what you expect to find at your destination. Since you now know where you are and know where you are going, you already have a direction. Like in real life, once you know where you are and you know your destination, you will know what options you have to get there. You can begin to see the path from Problem to Success. Go through the options you can think of and find a few more ways to get there that are not too obvious.
All that is left is to choose one way and go.