In the book ‘Reinventing Yourself’ the author Steve Chandler talks about the importance of problems in your life. He says solutions are a good thing, but you can’t get a solution without a problem. He also reminds us that most games are really problems, but they are considered fun instead of work. Perhaps this is because they are played and not done for marks?
A problem is simply an opportunity for growth, provided you are willing to stick with them long enough to overcome the initial struggle. Voltaire said, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking”. Being challenged by problems is what brings purpose to your days. Most people see problems as something to avoid, always looking for an easy way out, including letting others solve problems for them. I believe a problem is meant to strengthen you and you must be willing to push through some pain and embrace your fears to conquer them. Each problem you solve on your own increases your experience along with your confidence for the future. Most people are so afraid they may fail, that they never try at all. They never realize that failure doesn’t exist when you learn from each setback and keep working on finding a solution.
I found it interesting also when Mr. Chandler mentions how we have made the word problem a bad thing. For example, saying someone ‘has problems’, brings about a negative feeling.
I have found that with the right attitude each problem becomes a blessing, as it is simply a chance to learn. When something breaks in my home, I look forward to seeing if I can work out a solution, without calling someone to fix it. It brings a sense of satisfaction when I figure it out and often adds a new skill in the process. Most people instead waste a lot of time complaining about the problem and worrying about it, that they fail to extract the benefit from it.
Think of some games you like to play now or used to play when you were younger. Chances are, you liked the challenge they presented, whether it was mental or physical. Maybe it was collaborating or competing with others that you enjoyed. I challenge you to make a game of your school-work and to tap into the joy of problem-solving. If you are a senior student, get back to the love of learning that you had when you were a small child. Begin again, to see each problem as an opportunity to improve yourself and stick with it until you solve it. You can do it if you really want to!
I will leave you with this quote from Bertrand Russell, “Most people would rather die than think and many of them do!” Cherish the fact that you are alive, and you can direct your mind toward solving problems. Never run from your problems, but instead meet the challenge head on and embrace the opportunity you have.