Could we actually mentally change the perception we have of the “problem”? Turn the negative connotation tied to it on its head?
The very charismatic American singer and actress Eartha Kitt once said – quote unearthed while minding my own business on Insta – “problem is something you make, life is something you live…”.
I paused and pondered…there might be something in there…
What would a life without anything to solve be like? Everything we do seems to be to solve a problem.
Google defines “problem” as below:
A matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome. / a thing that is difficult to achieve.
An inquiry starting from given conditions to investigate or demonstrate a fact, result, or law.
The word “problem” stems from the Greek “proballein”, meaning “before” (pro) and “to throw” (ballein). The word “ball” also finds its source in “ballein”.
Based on the etymology and usage of the word, a problem indicates a question posed to us, a ball passed to us.
Life can then be seen as a ball game, the “problem” being the ball thrown at us.
When we get that ball, what do we do with it? Are we afraid of it and run away from it? Do we push it away with no consideration? Do we skilfully seize it and score, or push it to the best spot on the pitch?
Ignoring or mishandling the ball is rejecting the game, it’s mishandling or giving up on our life.
Playing ball keeps us alive – accepting and managing problems is one of the main purposes of living. Life is dynamic thanks to problems; growth is possible thanks to problems.
Wishing for problems to go away is like asking for our brain to stop functioning. Cerebral death.
What if we then ignore the definition that simply describes problems as difficult things to achieve, and embrace the notion that they are essential for moving forward, for living tout court?
A life without problems is boring, artificial, with no scent or colour. It just cannot be, unless we stop living.
So, guess what? Problems are here to stay; let’s ditch the gloom and make the most of them.
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