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Staying on Top When Your World's Upside Down


Distinguish between problems and predicaments

Tác giả: Joe Tye

“Dreaming is one thing, staying on the path is another. Sustaining the vision is the most difficult part. Along the way we can be so easily distracted by other, easier paths, or disheartened by the relentless effort required to forge ahead. Only those capable of climbing through adversity see the vision realized.”
Paul Stoltz: Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles Into Opportunities

Dissatisfaction can be a powerful source of personal motivation if, and only if, it is effectively channeled. To complain about anything and everything, though, is to fritter away that motivational power. Pay attention to the things you complain about (even if you’re just complaining silently, not saying the words aloud). Are you complaining about problems or predicaments? Here’s the difference: a problem has a solution, a predicament does not (a problem is an alcoholic neighbor, a predicament is an alcoholic mother-in-law; you can deal with a problem but you have to live with a predicament).

When you are clear about whether whatever it is that’s bothering you is a problem or a predicament, then you can cease wasting your emotional energy on either. If it’s a problem, start working on a solution. If it’s a predicament, grin and bear it.

And remember the famous Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niehbur: “Grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change (predicaments), courage to change the things I can (problems), and wisdom to know the difference (and the strength to not whine and complain about either!).”

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