Embracing Problems

By Anthony Gold

A good day is one in which things go very well and our problems are few or nonexistent.

Perhaps the weather is beautiful. Our body is feeling strong and healthy. We got a great night’s sleep. The boss is nice to us, colleagues are supportive, and we get important work completed. Friends and family are doing just fine. Things are peaceful in the world. Our investments are appreciating. Love life is on fire. Meals are delicious. And play time is incredibly fun and relaxing.

We’re feeling appreciated, respected, cared for, and safe.

It’s a good day indeed.

But is it really?

When things are going well, it is very hard to grow. You never see someone challenging themselves on such a day and asking, “Why are all these good things happening to me? What can I learn from this?” If anything, we might worry that whatever is occurring won’t last very long.

Yet it is far easier to grow (and get closer to true happiness) in the face of what we call problems.

Problems represent an incredible opportunity to consider where our negative emotions are coming from.

We call it a problem because it is unwelcome. Something we don’t want in our life. A big NO THANK YOU!

Problems take our peace away.

But what does that mean, “take our peace away”?

We believe that the problem itself swept into our life and stole a piece of happiness from us. My lack of peace is because of this problem.

But that’s not an accurate assessment of the situation.

In fact, it’s the exact opposite. The problem is because of my lack of peace.

Problems don’t make us unhappy. Our unhappiness is what leads us to see problems.

Every emotion we have is the direct result of how we’re seeing the world – either through the cloudy perspective of the ego or the clear lens of being.

With the ego as our guide, any moments of happiness are fragile, fleeting, and likely soon to be counterbalanced by impending despair. That’s why whenever “good” things happen, we’re often concerned with how long they will last. And when “bad” things occur, we use them as justification for our sadness. We see the world as the source of our pain and suffering.

Our negative emotions are not caused by bad things happening. They are caused by the choice for the ego. And from that choice come all our perceptions of the world.

When we instead choose to step into the present moment of being, we no longer see problems. We see peace. It is impossible to experience negative emotions when we’re in that state.

So, back to our wish for a good day with no problems. Problems are the fast track to recognizing we’ve chosen the ego. When we experience a problem, we can use that occurrence as an opportunity to remind ourselves, “I must be with my ego right now, because I’m seeing this as a problem.”

And from here, it’s a small step to making a different choice. One that leads to a completely different perception of the situation, and one that leads to incredible peace and lasting happiness.

Join me in Monday’s class where we’ll explore the nature of problems and how we can leverage them for rapid growth. I look forward to seeing you then.

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