I find it strange how our minds operate.
We label some things as problems, yet in real life, there’s nothing really catastrophic about it.
Here are a few examples:
- Internet is down for a week.
- Annoying neighbors’ pets.
- Relatives keep asking for money.
- Inconsiderate boss/co-workers.
- Clients not following the agreement.
- Friends not doing well in their lives.
- Parents not doing what they’re meant to do.
- Neighbors not raising their kids the right way.
I think I could make a single blog post citing more examples. But this is enough. You get the idea.
So what is actually the problem?
If we try to look at the bigger picture, they are not actually problems. We don’t have control over them — those things will happen whether we like them or not.
The real problem is not the awful things happening around us — it’s our broken idea about what life should be.
It is our ideals that are making us miserable.
Of course, it’s good to have ideals. But it’s not always helpful to stick to them.
Learn to let go.
I understand how hard it is for some people. We want to live in a perfect world where everything works in accordance with our ideals.
But life doesn’t always work our way.
This is why I love Stoicism. It reminds me that life isn’t perfect and there’s nothing wrong about it.
As the great stoic Epictetus said,
“It’s not things that upset us, it’s our judgment about things.”
If we always see those things as problems, we’ll never find peace and happiness.
The solution is to realize that some things are not within our control. And we can always and always choose how we view the world.
Focus on the solution. All the time.