Each day what problems cross your mind on a daily basis? Why is my life so tough? Why I am broke? Why the economy is bad?
Why do I have such a lousy boss? Why do I have such lousy employees? When are my troubles going to end No one cares about this more than I do?
Human beings consistently face problems. It’s what we do with these problems that decide our destiny.
Problems can arise in various parts of our life:
- Career or Business
- Community service or volunteering
To understand how human beings respond to problems we must understand a basic human concept which is, we do things to avoid pain or gain pleasure. Sometimes the need to avoid pain may be greater than the desire to gain pleasure.
Whenever there is progress or growth, it will be met with criticism and resistance. This is where we have a choice, we could either:
- Shrink: move to our comfort zone to avoid temporary pain however in the long term we will face disappointment (long term pain)
- Grow: face temporary pain (acknowledge it’s a phase) and beyond it lies the pleasure of seeking our goals
Behavior people display when they try and avoid their problems:
- Food or other addictions
- Blaming others for your troubles
- Moving into comfort zone (or withdrawing)
“Sometimes problems don’t require a solution to solve them; Instead they require maturity to outgrow them.” – Steve Maraboli
Story with a moral:
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out a way to get him out. Finally he decided it was probably impossible and the animal was old and the well was dry anyway, so it just wasn’t worth it to try and retrieve the donkey. So the farmer asked his neighbors to come over and help him cover up the well. They all grabbed shovels and began to shovel dirt into the well.
At first, when the donkey realized what was happening he cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down and let out some happy brays. A few shovel loads later, the farmer looked down the well to see what was happening and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was shaking it off and taking a step up.
As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he continued to shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, to everyone’s amazement, the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off.
Moral of the Story:
We will all face adversity in life, we will be ignored, tossed around, criticized, discriminated, and feel betrayed but in the end we can convert these moments to opportunities.
What separates the rest from the best is that while other people complain and criticize, the best are waiting for the opportunity; when the moment is right they seize it.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that we used to create them” – Albert Einstein
“when you focus on the problems you will have more problems. When you focus on the possibilities you will have more opportunities.”
- Focus on the solution rather than the problem itself
- Shift your focus on “What can I do?” rather than “Why is this happening?”
When we focus on something our brain will associate a meaning to the event, however majority of the time this happens subconsciously therefore we do not realize it. The meaning that we associate to this eventually has an impact on our emotions.
A few examples would be:
- Is it the end
- Have I failed
- People cannot be trusted
These all hold different meanings to different people.
“The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude to the problem.” J Depp
Once we have attached a meaning to a problem, based on the meaning it would either motivate us to go ahead and achieve or give up.
4. Out grow your problems
Sometimes during situations of crisis, we need patience and perseverance. Once we have overcome a problem it makes us stronger to forge ahead. Great leaders have faced a lot of opposition but it’s through their perseverance that they are remembered long after they have passed away.