Problems and our choices of them
Mark Manson says;
“Don’t hope for a life without problems,” the panda said. “There’s no such thing. Instead, hope for a life full of good problems.”
–Manson, Mark. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Mark Manson Collection) (p. 30). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
This is mirrored in another book. 4000 Weeks, Time Management for Mortals, Oliver Burkeman says:
In the first of the Three Principles of Patience, he says, “The first is to develop a taste for having problems.”
Later he continues, “the presence of problems in your life, in other words, isn’t an impediment to a meaningful existence but the very substance of one.”
–Burkeman, Oliver. Four Thousand Weeks (p. 181). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition.
We pile on hours and hours of work striving to clear our plate of problems. As is the case of the industrial revolution, solving one problem inevitably leads to the next. With the advent of the power plant, convenient locomotion, and large swaths of farmland able to produce crops, we’ve given rise to global warming. Or rather now that we’ve solved the problems of the industrial age we’re able to concentrate on a new problem. Did our prior problems cause our current crisis or were we just unaware of it because we had bigger problems. Maybe both. Either way, the fact remains that problems exist and will continue to exist. It’s our responsibility to choose the problems we face and choose appropriately.
Problems to solve are not the enemy. Rather our choice of problems tends to be the enemy. We can pick the wrong ones and spend years fighting a losing battle. Or we can pick the best problems and gain necessary experience to make our lives and those around us richer. The act of assessing and reassessing our goals needs to be constantly on our calendar. Self assessment is critical in maintaining life balance. Same can be said of our habits and our routines.
Letting go may seem like quitting but that is what the assessments are for. It gives us a way to objectively measure and calculate if our current path or trend is in line with our goals. If it’s not, it might be time to take a serious review of whether a current problem needs our attention or if we would be more productive somewhere else.