I find it fascinating how often the very things we believe to be the solutions to our problems are in fact, the problems themselves.
It does seem a bit odd when you say the solution is the problem, so please allow me to explain.
In my day job I frequently hear people describe how the cause of some problem in their lives is inextricably connected to a specific cause and the way to resolve the issue is to deal with that cause – the reason for their problem.
I am unhappy because I am overweight.
I would feel so much better about myself if I quit smoking.
I’m stressed out because of my workload.
If I was in a relationship I wouldn’t be so lonely.
My life would be so much better if I had more money.
Each one of these folks sharing their problem with me sincerely believed that their problem would go away if they could attain the solution and, until they attain that solution, they will retain the problem.
Unhappiness is caused by being overweight therefore losing weight = happiness.
Not feeling good about oneself is caused by smoking therefore quitting smoking = feeling good about oneself.
Being stressed out is caused by workload therefore altering the workload = less stress.
Loneliness is caused by not being in a relationship therefore being in a relationship = not being lonely.
Not having a “better” life is caused by insufficient money and therefore having more money = a better life.
Each of these people discussed a problem in their lives. One was not happy, one does not feel good about themselves, one is stressed out, one is lonely and one seeks a better life.
And each of them knows where the solution lies. The solution to being unhappy is to lose weight, the solution to not feeling good about oneself is to quit smoking, the solution to being stressed out is to alter a workload, the solution to loneliness is to be in a relationship and the pathway to a better life is more money.
The problems presented above represents nothing more than what these folks believe to be true of themselves. Happiness is not given to us by the number on a scale but rather, it is how we choose to see the world and our place in it. The same is true for how we feel about ourselves, what does or does not “stress us out,” whether or not we choose to connect being alone with being lonely, and whether we believe our happiness is connected to our net worth.
The problems we believe that we have are extremely difficult to address as long as we connect them to a solution.
Doing so presupposes a cause-and-effect relationship that simply does not exist and inextricably ties our happiness to weight loss, our self-worth to quitting smoking etc.
The moment we change what we believe to be true of ourselves is the same moment in which these problems disappear from our lives. This does not mean we should not attempt to lose weight, quit smoking and address any other issues, it simply means that the one does not cause the other and that by separating the problem from our perceived solution we free ourselves of the emotional anchors that severely weigh us down in our efforts to “solve” our problems.
A glass filled with water to the mid-point is neither half full nor half empty. It is merely a glass filled with water to the mid-point.
Half full or half empty is how we choose to view it – our perspective.
Every problem described above can be removed by changing our perspective – what we believe to be true.
In the moment we do that we will discover, to our absolute delight that achieving all those solutions is really not that difficult after all.
Till we read again.
P.S. My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at www.lifesinksorsoars.com and let me know what you think.
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