The Gift of Problems

There is no question that in the United States, we are facing challenges many of us are not used to. The price of gasoline has soared and it’s having a major impact on the cost of many things, not the least of which is food and other consumer goods that are not luxuries but necessities.

Businesses that were booming when the housing market was robust are now facing major downturns and all of this is causing a ripple effect on the economy at large.

I have an unwavering faith that we have the will and the ability to fix any problem once there is a strong enough incentive to do so. We are, however, a race of people who don’t get truly innovative until we are in a great deal of pain.

The easiest way to have an impact on your own life is to use your power of focus. You can continue to focus on the problem, as the media is doing, or you can use your power of choice to focus on potential solutions. Once you begin to focus on solutions, you have leveraged the Law of Attraction and it dictates that you get more of what you focus on. People who do this thrive when others around them are flailing.

Let’s face it, when business is good, are you inclined to look for ways to make it better or are you more likely to coast, enjoying the ride? Don’t you do the same with other aspects of your life? For example, you know how to do your job well. When did you last proactively seek ways to improve your performance? Relationships also come to mind—don’t we usually take them for granted until an issue arises?

Adversity provides opportunities for major improvements. Necessity, it turns out, really IS the mother of invention. Did you know, for example, that one of the unanticipated outcomes of war is that medicine benefits greatly? Forced to act without conveniences normally found in hospitals, medical staff come up with on-the-spot innovations that they bring back to the medical community.

Those doctors and nurses could spend their time complaining about the lack of adequate equipment while patients around them suffer. Instead, they quickly assess what they have to work with and figure out ways to produce the necessary results. It’s amazing how quickly focused you become when it’s a life-and-death moment:

The scenario was that of two Toronto couples, both with one spouse dying of kidney disease and the other unable to donate one of their own healthy kidneys because they weren’t a compatible blood type.

In this life-and-death situation, an innovative solution was devised—they swapped spouses! Tom McCabe in his early 60s gave one of his kidneys to 46-year-old Joe Leung. At the same time, Joe’s wife Heidi Leung happily gave one of her healthy kidneys to Tom’s wife Antoinette.

Human beings are designed to solve problems (thus the remarkable brains we were born with). In fact, we thoroughly enjoy solving problems. Look at how many problems you take a stab at that aren’t even yours! Some of you give advice to others nearly every day.

Problems are a gift designed to tap latent skills and talents. Every problem solved moves the human race further along in our evolutionary progress. You can add to our progress by training your mind to continually seek solutions. The more you do, the less negatively impacted you will be when problems come along because you will be well-practiced.

The world doesn’t reward those who create problems—it rewards those of you who come up with the solutions. Next time a problem comes along, see it as the gift it is!

Download a PDF of this column