The word “problem” has a very negative feeling attached to it. When someone says they have a problem, they may feel stuck or even hopeless of ever getting out of their problem. A problem is defined as an obstacle which makes it difficult to achieve a desired goal, objective or purpose. Looking at life’s experiences as problems can be detrimental to a persons physical and mental health.
I recently had the pleasure of hearing a wonderful quote from a 70 year old man who had just been fired from his job and who’s wife had passed away a year earlier. He said, “Instead of perceiving life’s events as problems, replace the word ‘problem’ with either challenge or opportunity. Because every challenge has a solution and every opportunity has its reward.”
I thought this was a wonderful way of looking at life’s obstacles because if you see everything as a problem (such as losing your job, losing your spouse or bills piling up) you will most likely feel overwhelmed and become depressed. However, if you can see your job loss as an opportunity to do what you’ve always wanted to do, you’ve made a problem into something positive. Or if you perceive your financial struggle as a challenge you must overcome, you’ve just made it much easier to think of a solution.
This is a mind-set that anyone can use since no ones life is free of challenges. The goal should always be to find a solution (within reason) and to take precautions to prevent the said ‘problem’ from occurring again.
It is also important to set goals, both short-term and long-term, so you’re not simply “going through the motions”, but have a predetermined path that you’re always working towards. Even if you take baby steps towards your goal you will be that much closer and feel a sense of accomplishment. Once your goal is met, don’t stop making new goals! Make goals for your career, traveling or trying something new because once you achieve your goal (no matter how small) you will be a happier, healthier person!
I recently read an article by Joie Schmidt that asked, “Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years“. Asking yourself this question on a regular basis will help you focus on your goals and make it easier to obtain them.