By Karen Ostranger
Here’s the truth that we discover when we decide to stop telling ourselves fairytales about the problems that occur in our lives.
Despite what we have conned ourselves into believing, the majority of our problems are optional. Most of our existing problems don’t just happen, aren’t randomly selective of us and tend to be reoccurring.
The difference between a problem that selects us and a problem that we select to have is that the problems that select us can usually be classified under the heading of ‘an act of God’. Problems that fall under such a heading would be; wind storms of all kinds, snow storms, floods, power outages and accidents, illnesses that occur in spite of the fact that we have done everything possible to take good and diligent care of our health.
Nearly all of the problems we have do not fall under the heading of ‘an act of God’. Most human problems, small or large, are self selected.
You are selecting to have a problem when you notice the little red light on your dash board blinking but you choose to ignore or postpone taking the car into the shop and getting it checked out, tuned up or given an oil change. You may act as surprised and upset as you choose when your car stalls out on the highway in rush hour traffic. You can list all the excuses that you like for not having dealt with the car issue while it was merely an inconvenience, but it won’t change the fact that now you have a problem.
We regularly create problems for ourselves in every aspect of our lives. In our relationships, our businesses or work, with our cars, computers and even that rising laundry pile that hides in the closet until we run out of clean clothes to wear or Aunt Edna comes to visit.
If we postpone balancing our checkbooks because we are too tired or just don’t feel like doing it and we have inadvertently made a calculation error, when checks begin doing the bouncing Tigger dance, we know inside of us that we could have saved ourselves the now costly problem.
While we are spending beyond our means, we know that inevitably the bill will come due and that we are selecting a future stress problem for ourselves.
When we have a twinge of occasional discomfort in our left, lower molar but we ignore it until we wake up and the entire left side of our face is swollen, deep down we know we could have saved ourselves a very painful problem.
We are aware that when we repeatedly postpone the nurturing of our most vital relationships that eventually problems of resentment or even estrangement will arise.
We allow little challenges and inconveniences to grow into upsetting and unnecessary problems everyday. Then, in order to escape the problems we've created, we consider making huge changes in our lives. Perhaps a career change, new friends, a move to a different state, the purchase of a new home or car or even a new spouse.
We all want to improve ourselves and change our lives for the better but facts are that most improvements require that we successfully meet bigger challenges than the ones we currently have.
The first step in preparing ourselves to take on new goals and the bigger challenges that will undoubtedly come with them is to make certain that we can proficiently deal with the challenges we have now. We need to be certain that we are able do so consistently and before all our current, inconvenient, little challenges have the opportunity to grow up to be big problems.
Are you ready to take that first step toward becoming virtually ‘problem free’ and therefore prepared for bigger challenges and opportunities in your life?
Make a solemn vow to adhere to this old but tried and true adage.
“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” ~unknown~
Read a time management book or take a class if necessary. Once you have caught up, try to get ahead of everything on your plate.
Get your life as it is now organized and comfortably flowing. Form a routine for taking care of all the things and people that are currently in your life. Think, ‘ quality maintenance’ of your current life and lifestyle. Think, ‘quality time and care’ of all the people in your life. Most importantly, include yourself in the list of people that you will provide quality time and care for.
Wait a few months and monitor yourself, your loved ones and your possessions. How’s everything going with your cars, computer, job or career, home, family, friends? Uh-oh, don’t forget about that ‘to do’ list you hid in the back of your desk drawer?
If you haven’t bounced any checks lately, your computer isn’t still showing the same pesky error message it was showing three months ago whenever you opened Outlook, and your car isn’t waiting on the highway for a tow truck, you’re almost ready.
If there are no little warning lights blinking anywhere or on anything, if you and your family, friends and pets alike are all still alive, doing well, and on comfortable speaking terms then you’re ready to take on an additional goal and all it's challenges. You are prepared to succeed.
Karen is a personal coach, teleclass leader, writer, accomplished dream achiever, and creative solution architect. Don't miss her teleclass, Pin the Solution on the Challenge. Discover how to transform stumbling blocks into stepping stones and become 'problem free'.