“I am fed up with life…Every day I have to face problems at the home front, in the office, while commuting, in the shop, in the marketplace – everywhere others create problems for me. Even so-called relatives and friends create a lot of issues…Why is everyone unfair to me?” a message from the WhatsApp broadcast list from a seemingly upset person, whose name cannot be divulged.
“Please write down your problems. If you get a moment of happiness after facing 1000 problems you are among the most blessed ones on the Earth. If you get one moment of happiness after facing 100,000 problems, yes you are an average human being like us…” I said.
Life is, of course, full of problems. As a matter of fact, it’s so full of problems that at times it appears as though solving one problem creates a new problem.
Having problems is a mandatory part of life. Worrying about it is an optional part. And living life in optimal ways requires understanding how to solve life problems. Those who successfully work through their problems live happier, more fulfilling, and rewarding life.
“Udayji, things happen unexpectedly. It is unfair. Things happen when I am absolutely run out of time. I don’t deserve this. It’s a total inconvenience to me and others…All others are pounding on me with troubles…”
“What good will it do by blaming, complaining, or making excuses? Does it help? The existence has something of value to teach you. The more you run away without taking responsibility for the problem, the more problems you will face. Take up the responsibility and use the problem as a challenge to get better”
“Udayji, sorry to say, it is very easy to advise. You’re leading a happy life and there is no problem for you…”
“On the contrary, I accept my problems as part of my happiness, I don’t blame my surroundings. I don’t blame my parents, my relatives, my colleagues, friends, etc for my problems. I am convinced that I am a perfect person with all my imperfections. I am a unique expression of existence. Even the smallest cell in our body is unique. Everyone is unique. So the problems are unique for me. I have to find a solution, no one else will do it for me. So, I take ownership of the problem and face it using my limited intelligence, not my emotions. The moment I sink in emotions, I become part of the problem and I can’t find a solution…”
“How do I work towards the solution?”
“You own up your dress, ornaments, your bank balance, wealth, house, car, etc…Why don’t you own up to your problem then? Your attitude is like this – All those material comforts are MINE. I won’t share it. But problems are not mine. Someone else should own it! Isn’t it a double standard?”
“Hmmm, that’s true.”
“When you take up the responsibility of solving the problem, you will stop making assumptions. Then you’ll be in the right frame-of-mind to begin solving it.”
“But my problems are complex and complicated than you think.”
“I didn’t think. See, you made an assumption here. I have heard it from hundreds of people, while talking about their problems, saying ‘you don’t understand my problem’. That’s also a fact. So, why do you really need others’ help?”
“To solve my problem…Udayji, I know you’ve helped people solving problems.”
“Aha, your problem is unique to you, you are the owner of your problem and no one else will understand your problem. So why do you seek help? Yes, you need help – but not to solve the problem, but to get a different perspective, an alternative view towards the problem. The best dependable source would be (in order) your parents, trustworthy elders or seniors, your spouse or siblings, friends who won’t exploit you. When someone calls me, I just provide them my perspective of the problem. I don’t give solutions. How does it work? When someone is emotionally immersed in the problem, he/she will lose insight and can’t see the solution. But as an outsider, I am not emotionally involved, so I would be able to see a different perspective. So always try to seek an alternative perspective. That’s all.”
Long ago, my mother, who was a school teacher, told me about an incident. One day, she saw two students in the backbench were not paying attention to the class and talking. She asked them to stand up. Then she told them to sit on the front row benches, but in different places. After a while, she saw a student was crying and the other one was seemingly happy.
She asked the student, “why are you crying.”
The student said: “Teacher, you have insulted me in front of everybody.”
Then my mother asked the other student: “What about you?”
The other student said: “No. I didn’t cry. Teacher, when you asked me to come on the front bench, I understood that you’re giving special attention to me. I am happy that you care for me…”
Happiness is just an internal decision. Taking such a decision is as easy as closing our eyelids. So, we can face all problems in life with a smile in the face.
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