The Problem with Problems

Has there ever been a time when the best idea you can come up with is to throw your hands up and say, “I give up!”?  I did that recently and I have to say it felt really good.

In today’s world there always has to be an answer. With the wealth of information on the internet, in the print media, and with experts in every field, anytime one has a problem there begins a quest for the answer. Often you’ll find one, and if your problem was how to make sugar cookies in high altitude or what to do with the spaghetti stain you got on your favorite shirt, you can feel grateful for the information age we live in.

Unfortunately though, this information age creates the illusion that there is always an answer, but the truth is, for many of life’s questions there isn’t. The questions about relationships that are struggling, or health that is failing, or jobs that are getting harder and harder to go to every day; these questions are not going to be answered by doing a google search.  And logical problem-solving oftentimes doesn’t work either.

So, what to do? For me, recently, when I had another bout of  increased pain  I did what I’ve always done: internet research,  asking advice from trusted cohorts, thinking and thinking and thinking, until I wanted to bang my head against the wall. And then, after I finally said, “I give up!” I realized something. The answer for me is this: Stop looking for the ultimate answer and focus on what will make me feel good right now.  I immediately felt better because I knew I could handle this simpler request. Trying to figure it all out is impossible and will only lead to angst. Focusing on feeling better right now is doable and leads to immediate relief.

Try this the next time you start driving yourself crazy with a problem. You’ll be happy with the results.

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