Dances With Problems

A couple of months ago, I had to get blood work done to check on my thyroid.

It's not a big deal. Just something I have to live with given that I have hypothyroidism.

I admit that it can be a pain in the ass sometimes.

The wait can be long.

And being inside a healthcare facility at any point during pandemic can be nerve-wracking.


It can also sometimes provide cool opportunities.

Happily, fate smiled on me and dealt me a good hand last time I was there.

I masked up. Put my sunglasses on (at the time it was summer in Tucson, Arizona, so they were essential equipment)

And I dragged myself through the blistering heat into the Campus Health part of campus.

I went up the stairs to the relevant lab area, checked in, and sat down at a social distance from other patients.

It was here that I overheard a thought voiced by a fellow patient in the waiting room that made me crack a smile and set me off on the path to reflection.

It was a thought that came from an office-type in a suit as he was talking on the phone.

"Man, I'm telling you... I feel like if only I found the right girl... then all my problems would be solved. Then I would FINALLY be happy."

As I heard him utter this phrase, I couldn't help but crack a knowing smile.

You see, I've heard many different versions of this thought throughout my life.

"If only I found the right person...

"If only I found the right house...

"If only found the right job...

... Then everything would finally click!"

... Then all my problems would be solved"

... Then I would finally be happy"

Many of us tell ourselves a version of this tempting thought.

Or often get fed version of this.

But I figured out a while ago (by thinking hard about the philosophy of happiness) that this thought may be tempting. But it is simply not true.

Let me tell you right here. Right now.

There is NOTHING in this world that can get rid of ALL your problems.

And even if there were, this would only be a temporary fix.

Days, months, or weeks later, new problems will inevitably arise.

Problems that you could not have foreseen. And that you will have to deal with.

To live IS to have problems.

So, you'll never be truly happy by trying to get rid of all your problems.

You'll only be chasing a false peace that will never fill you.

Rather, the key to being truly happy is to Learn to DANCE with the Problems

To learn to take on the challenges that life inevitably brings you in a way that you find meaning and joy in.

Now, unfortunately, I got called in for my appointment before I could teach this dude in a suit this key lesson about the philosophy of happiness.

(I had genuinely thought of sharing this reflection with him once he got off the phone--I like to talk to strangers--but alas, it was not meant to be)

Still, YOU get to reap the benefits of this reflection! Even if he doesn't.

True happiness lies in accepting that there will always be problems and learning to dance with them.

It will never come from lamenting that there are and trying to get rid of them.

So, next time you find yourself facing a problem in your life, and you're finding it frustrating. Stop yourself.

Take a moment.

And think of how you can reconceptualize the problem as an opportunity for growth.

Not as a burden to get rid of. But as a challenge.

A gift that life is offering you.

Giving you problems is not how the world gets in your way.

It's how the world CALLS YOU TO ACTION.

It's how the world paves the way for you to become EVEN better.

So, next time you're facing a problem, consciously try to answer the call with joy. With purpose. With excitement. By appreciating it for what it is.

A chance for you to get even more out of life... if you'll take it as such.

Hope you have fun turning problems into fuel for a better future self!

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