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How to Fix a Problem

a bicycle covered in mud laying in the middle of a muddy and desolate road

When I simplified my life and began living out of a truck it had a way of putting all the problems of life in a whole new light. When basic needs such as food and shelter became my priorities then everything else became a secondary concern, or was not a concern at all.

My perspectives and expectations started to change.

I began to see how I used to worry or get upset about really trivial things, even though they didn't seem so trivial at the time.

Many thoughts and feelings and ideals that I thought were important, only because I gave importance to them, turned out to be not so important in the grand scheme of things.

Comfort as I knew it was now a luxury. I had to learn how to find some form of comfort in whatever situation I was in.

Challenges had to be faced and were a lot less difficult and, therefore, easier to overcome when they were embraced.

Problems were no longer problems, but just another thing to figure out.

Sometimes I got really dirty or wet or cold (and sometimes a combination of them) or experienced some other form of discomfort in the process of figuring it out.

Sometimes I didn't figure it out at all and, instead, I had to figure out how to just be okay with it and work with it as best as I could.

Does that mean unfortunate things don't happen anymore?

Of course not.

There's always going to be problems. There will always be unwanted, unpleasant, and/or undesirable circumstances and I am an extremely flawed human who still loses his sh*t. But when I can catch myself losing it, when I can slow down and take a step back, I can see that there is always an answer.

There is always a way to fix a problem.

And as my outlook on these problems began to shift I started to see the real cause.

The quickest and easiest way to escape a problem is to solve it. To solve it means to find the cause. Rather than just trying to find a solution to the problem, perhaps we should try to figure out the cause of the problem in the first place.

We can learn more and more solutions to our problems (but they keep coming back) or we can unlearn the problem, itself.

What may seem like a thing to one of us may not be the same thing to another. No matter what problems - or how many - we think we have, we can always find someone who seems to have it worse but doesn't see it that way.

It's a matter of perspective.

How else does someone see an opportunity for growth where another just sees struggle? How else does one person see a challenge where another person only sees a problem?

A thing is just a thing and the thing I realized about problems is that they are just like fears...they don't exist anywhere except in our own minds.

How did I figure out how to fix a problem?

If it's a situation that I can't change or control or don't like, the first thing is to try to let go of the idea that there even is a problem. Then I have to try to learn how to accept the reality of whatever situation I'm in and work with it.

Once I realized that my problems were caused by my own doing or the way I looked at things, I was faced with fixing myself.

We seem to always want to change something (or someone) about our environment but we never think to change ourselves.

I changed my perspective.

I re-framed it and gave it a new or different meaning.

When I fixed myself and outgrew the problem then that problem would die a natural death.

Every. Single. Time.

We can blame the world for our problems. We can blame everyone and every thing for what is going on.

But life is not the problem.

That person is not the problem.

The circumstances are not the problem.

The problem is not the problem.

It's not people or things or events that upset us, it's the conversations that we have with ourselves. It's how our minds look at things, our expectations, our judgement of the situation, and our beliefs that are the problem.

Our own mind is the cause of the problem.

It all changes when I can stop trying to make things go the way that I expect them to, or think they should, or want them to. When I can accept things as they are and not how I want them to be, when I surrender myself, problems cease to exist.

It's so simple, yet one of the most difficult things, to realize that my own expectations and beliefs, my own perspective was the cause of many problems. The good news is that it also meant that I was the solution to the problem.

Problems don't stop, and they only change when we do. When we can't change a situation or our circumstances we are challenged to change ourselves, and that changes everything.

Suddenly one day all of the absurdities of life began to make sense.


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