“Problems are like washing machines. They twist, they spin and knock us around. But in the end we come out cleaner, brighter and better than before.”– Unknown
What is the secret ingredient of tough people that enables them to succeed? Why do they survive the tough and challenging times when others are overcome by them? Why do they win when others lose? Why do they soar when others sink?
Well, studies conducted on these people have all shown that it’s how they perceive their problems. They understand some principles that pertain to all problems. These people do not allow their problems to push them around but instead, they allow their dreams to lead them.
You may be labouring under the illusion that you’ve a problem, when in fact you lack the courage to make a tough and right decision. Your life may be miserable right now because of some people who make it so. You may be stressing and trying different ideas on how to change these people so they can understand you better when in fact you don’t need that. In this instance, all you need is courage to let them go! This requires self-confidence. So, confidence is one quality these people have and it is learnable. Let me share with you the principles I alluded to earlier about how tough people see their problems:
- Every living human being has problems.
This is principle number 1 they operate by, so, they don’t take problems personally. They don’t feel like they are being attacked. If you are unemployed for an example, you think the job would solve all your problems. Countless people have jobs they don’t like. They are giving five days a week to unhappiness. They work to live rather than live to work. they focus on the unenjoyable aspects of their jobs. They drag their feet getting to the workplace. Some people think their problems stem from the fact that they have to report to a boss. They falsely assume that they would be happy if they could be self-employed. It’s true that they might find some enjoyment in such a working arrangement, but many self-employed people have more problems than those who work for others. Retired people also have problems. Many are bored, some become depressed soon after retiring because they no longer feel productive or useful. Many actually wish they could be back at work. So, every living human being has problems, just don’t take yours personally.
- Every problem has a limited life span.
History teaches us that every problem has a life span. No problem is permanent. The problem you have right now will pass. Your problem will not live forever, you are tougher than your problems. Storms always give way to the sun. Winter always gives way to the springtime. Your storm will pass, just don’t comfort it, confront it!
- Every problem will change you.
Tough people know that problems are not meant to leave us the same way they found us. They embrace the fact that problems are like washing machines. They twist you, spin you, knock you around and even mercilessly drag you around kicking and screaming but by the time they are done with you, you’re stronger and better than before. Don’t approach your problems with a victim’s mindset, embrace them because they carry with them a seed of greatness.
- You can choose what your problem will do to you.
Whatever you do, never let a problem become an excuse for your inaction. Whenever you are dealing with a problem, don’t think emotionally. Don’t let your emotions decide for you, use your brain. Larry De Angelo said it succinctly, “Life is like a grinding stone – it can polish you or pulverize you – depending on how you position yourself.” Exactly, you’ll either be polished to a shine or ground into powder – depending on how you show up.
Remember to calm yourself down in front of a problem, don’t think emotionally. Train yourself to control your emotional brain and engage your thinking brain more because it always finds the answers when given a chance to look for them, trust it.
Once again, your problem is not the worst problem in the world and you’re not the only one who has it. That problem is there for a season. It is there to change you and grow you for the next season, embrace it instead of taking it personally. Choose to be polished by your problem rather than to be crushed and ground into powder by it, you have the power to make that choice.
There was Swine flu soon after World War 1, Smallpox followed, HIV came and is still there, now it’s COVID-19. What does this all tell us? This too shall pass, just do what you need to do – take precautionary measures and be responsible and that will ensure we emerge victorious.
Veli Ndaba is a Professional and Motivational Speaker, Life-Coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Author of three books (You Are Born to Win, Your Dream is Calling You and SWITCH ON!), Newspaper Columnist and Entrepreneur. To book him to speak at your next event or to help you and your team unleash your greatness, contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org , www.velindaba.com or +27 83 304 9773