It is a pretty well known and established fact that life is full of problems. No matter what you do or how you try to do it, you will no doubt be faced with some kind of problem or obstacle. You don’t have to look far to find a problem; more often than not they will find you. But what makes a person great, what makes a person extraordinary is how they choose to deal with their problems.
More often than not, we dwell on our problems. We have “pity parties” and call other people who are willing to sit and listen to us dote on how bad things are. It even gives some of us a feeling of pleasure, like we’re little children finally getting the attention we crave. Some us even move to the place of allowing our problems to define who we are. We become known as the person who never has any money, the person who is always depressed, or the person who always has “drama”. And we choose to remain in that place, never doing anything about it because deep down inside we enjoy the label, truly becoming that child who doesn’t care what kind of attention they get, just as long as it’s attention.
I have a name that I have come up with to describe people like this. I call them “Problem Addicts” because essentially they are addicted for some reason or another to having problems in their lives.
There are those people who know deep down inside that they are problem addicts. They are the ones who constantly find themselves facing a problem, often the exact same problem. It is the picture of a person who is constantly in dire financial straits, or keeps getting in the same dysfunctional type of relationships with one person after the next.
At the same time, there are those people who don’t realize that they are stuck in this rut. There are those who honestly have no idea that their personality and certain key behaviors are the cause for the majority of their problems.
Take for instance the blamer.
We all know the blamer. This is a person who blames every problem they have on something or someone else. This person has no money because of an unfair economy, and a bad marriage because of a unreasonable spouse. This is a person who refuses to accept facts such as their financial problems being a result of their mismanagement of money, or their marriage problems being the result of their insensitivity towards their spouse.
A blamer will spend their entire life blaming other people and situations for their problems never realizing the problems they are causing themselves. They fail to realize that they can never change a problem or overcome an obstacle that they refuse to accept responsibility over. They become a self-fulfilling prophecy, a leaf blowing in the wind pushed this way and that by circumstances beyond their control. They, in effect, become powerless not because of a true lack but rather because they give up their power for the attention that comes with being a victim.
Similar to the blamer is the complainer, a type of person who I believe requires no explanation. A complainer does just that, complains about any and everything. They are the person who perpetually chooses to focus on the half empty portion of the glass, who when facing a situation equal parts positive and negative will more often than not choose to focus on the negative. The issue arises because of one simple principle that I have found to be absolutely true: you get more of what you focus on. Therefore, the person who chronically complains is focusing on the problem, and ends up getting what they’re focusing on, namely more of the problem.
Incidentally, the majority of arguments occur because of two or more people being focused on a problem. Argumentative people are masters at seeking out and focusing on problems. They are the definition of the phrase “problem addict”.
By this time I’m sure I have described a person you are familiar with. Or maybe you have come to the cold realization that you yourself fall into one of the categories I have described.
Fortunately, you have the ability to change.
I would encourage all of us to strive to become solution oriented people, to actively seek solutions instead of dwelling on problems. It’s easy to focus on problems, but it takes a much stronger, much more resourceful person to look at a problem and commit to finding a solution. These type of people are few and far between and are some of the greatest money makers on the planet. The top business owners and CEOs in the world have to be adept at solving any problem that would prevent their companies from making money, and are well compensated for being in possession of this highly valued skill.
If I may offer you one piece of advice, one word of encouragement, it would be to become the type of person who solves problems. Be one of the rare breed who sees problems and obstacles as opportunities. Grow yourself and your mindset to a place where obstacles become nothing more than stepping stones on the way to your success.
Take control of your mind; remember that you and you alone have power over what thoughts you choose to entertain. Negative thoughts are nothing more than distractions that cloud your mind and keep you from seeing opportunities. Choose instead to focus on empowering thoughts.
Refuse to allow anyone or anything to corrupt your thoughts. If your boss fires you from your job, remind yourself that you’re obviously good on an interview. If your mate decides to break up with you, remind yourself that you were good enough to get them. Never give anyone or anything the power to diminish how you feel about yourself.
Remember always that you are every man’s equal. There is no one on the face of the earth who is any better than you are. Instead of asking who’s going to let you do something, start asking who’s going to stop you. Insist on having a mindset that reflects greatness, and inspire the same from the people around you.
Don’t be a part of the problem. Insist instead on being the solution.
We’ll talk again…