Life is full of challenges, but problems only exist in our mind. If you disagree with this statement, ask yourself: “What problem exists right now?”
You might answer:
I can’t pay my rent.
I’m afraid that my partner will leave me.
My job is too difficult.
It could be a million things, but I’ll ask you again: “What problem exists right now?”
Problems only exist in the future, and are projected by your mind: I’m going to get evicted. My relationship is going to end. I’m going to lose my job. You can’t change these situations by thinking about them; that’s called worrying.
Challenges are different. Challenges exist in the moment, and this you can act on. You could work extra hours to pay for your rent. You could be more understanding with your partner. And you could work on your weaknesses to excel at your job.
It’s not always that simple, of course. Not every challenge can be acted upon. Sometimes you have to accept a situation for what it is. But most people don’t act, or accept what has already occurred. They fight with reality, agonizing over what they should have done, or what they need to do.
You have three choices in every situation.
Consider this example. It’s Friday. You’re driving to work, and one of your favorite songs comes on the radio. Life is good, and you’re fully in the moment. All of a sudden you hit a traffic jam, and realize that you are going to miss an important meeting.
What do you do?
You have three options:
It is quite insane to pick number three, but this is what most people do. They don’t take action or accept the situation. They resist reality, and become stressed about what they should have done.
“If you argue against reality you will suffer” — Byron Katie
You have three choices in every situation. You might change it, or you might accept it, but resisting reality is always the wrong choice.
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