This is a guest post from my friend and colleague Charles Kovess.
You have problems: many of them. How do I know? Because you are reading this Passion Point. Every living person has problems.
The only people with no problems are in cemeteries!
Some people do not like calling them ‘problems’: they prefer challenges, or opportunities, or issues. However, I meet a lot of people in my work, and almost all of them wish they had less ‘problems’.
From previous Passion Points to Ponder, you would know this wonderful principle that I learnt through the work of Dr R. Buckminster Fuller:
“Your reward as a human being for solving problems is not peace, or happiness, or satisfaction: it is bigger problems!”
Just contemplate your life to date: as you have become ever-more competent, the problems you are solving have become more difficult, they have become bigger. When you were 15 years old, handling schoolyard issues and teachers were some of your biggest problems. Now, they would be easy for you to handle, because you have become more capable through solving problems.
So, here are 7 effective and simple ways to learn to love your problems.
1. Choose to love your problems. This is a conscious choice, and is contrary to the way most people think. It requires your deliberate choice. It is not natural. But you attracted your problems, and therefore accept that you deserve them!
2. Understand that it is only through solving problems that you grow and improve. How can you possibly get better if you do the same things every day, that require little thought-power on your part? When you understand the value of your problems, you will start to love them.
3. Understand that your happiness does NOT depend on the absence of problems. Most people think this is so:
“I would be happy, if:
a. my children moved out of the house
b. my salary increased
c. that retirement package comes through.”
You know there are people who are happy. And you know that they MUST have problems. Therefore, it should be obvious to you that you can have problems and be happy at the same time. That is certainly the case with me: I am happy, and I have a tonne of problems.
4. As a corollary to item 3 above, choose to be happy. Choose to adopt a philosophy for your life that ‘my happiness does not depend on external circumstances’. If you are only happy when all your family and friends are happy, or when you have no problems, your life will be quite miserable. My father truly knew that this principle is the secret to happiness, he taught it to me and my family, and I have experienced this to be true.
5. Understand the value of taking responsibility for your life. It is the decisions that YOU made prior to this moment in time when you are reading this Passion Point that created all the circumstances of your life that are now the source of your problems. Taking responsibility is so liberating because it stops you from blaming anybody for any part of your life that you do not like. When you do this, you take back control of your life. Since you are responsible for your problems, you can more easily see that they are part of you, and part of your life journey.
6. Lighten up. Are you taking life too seriously? Do you REALLY think life should be an easy ride, without problems? And so what if you fail in solving your problems? This is a wonderful experience to be alive unless you begrudge the difficult things that you are sometimes required to do.
7. Accept that there may be a spiritual dimension to your life journey, and that your soul has an agenda in place for your physical life; you reach a point of acceptance that ‘whatever will be, will be’. Choose to do your best, and if life does not happen how you think you want it, then turn it over to your soul or spirit and accept the learnings that you are about to have.
Loving your problems is a great way to live. When you are pursuing your passion, you are on a soulful or spiritual journey. It is a different way to live from what you see all around you. Accepting this soulful element will ensure that every morning you get up, you are ready and willing to embrace the problems that are creating your life.
QUOTES TO CONSIDER
"Success is peace of mind in knowing you did your best."
John Wooden, one of the greatest basketball coaches in USA history.
Are you doing your best, or are you wanting to avoid the problems that will bring out the best in you?
"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
Henry Ford, creative force in the world’s automobile industry.
Are you limiting your opportunities by seeking to avoid failure?
Find out more about Charles here.
Be the difference you want to see in the world.