Today, the common thinking is that words and stories matter. Whether you are selling a product, an idea, or even campaigning. How strange to find the word gift paired with problem. What if instead of problem you used the word obstacle, issue or situation? Do your feelings change if it involves a person or a thing?
There are many reasons that problems (or whatever word you choose to substitute here) are gifts. First, what is most often missed is that problems always have two components: 1 – the problem itself and 2 – our reaction to it. Both requiring different skills.
Technical knowledge may be needed to solve your problem. Knowing who to call to help might be applicable. Have you seen this problem before? There may be many different skills needed. When a person demonstrates this, they refer to them as having problem solving skills.
How we react to a problem is more subtle but much more influential towards a favorable outcome. If we are frustrated by a problem, the chances of solving it dramatically decrease. The same holds true if we become too emotional. On the other hand, if we believe a new problem is an opportunity or a challenge, we have already taken steps towards solving it by convincing ourselves that the problem is solvable.
Our reaction to a problem requires both self-discipline and a world view of optimism that only can reside deep within us. Attributes that are very different than the technical skills needed to solve what now faces you.
But where is the hidden gift of a new problem? When a new problem surfaces, we are like a seed that has just germinated, without yet seeing sunlight, attempting to push through the hardened soil, It takes force to push through the solid earth. Water to give the seed nourishment from the soil to become stronger.
Where does personal growth and experience come from? Not from books or YouTube videos. Not from friends and stories. Personal growth and experience develop naturally as a result of facing and working through problems, issues or obstacles. Problems focus us. Something that normal routines and habits cannot do on their own.
Problems are the crucible where deep learning occurs. It is the water in our life that helps us become stronger, better, and different than we were the day before. We may not solve them correctly every time. Why we may face the problem again until we find a solution that works. But in every case, we can learn something. If we pay attention.
Growing as a person and gaining experience in the world you choose to walk in, are the hidden gifts that all problems share with each of us. While an imperfect measure, if your week has gone by without any problems, it most likely is a week where you have not grown in some, even small, way.
Having goals or things you would like to accomplish force us into problems that we would not have encountered otherwise. It is a great way to push us towards self development through action. Not through contemplation.
With practice, all of this becomes easier. Revealing to us, that our resilience is strong and our potential great, Allowing us to further explore life amidst all of the imperfection it carries with it.