Are problems, challenges, turmoil, struggles really bad things? If we got everything we wanted in life without having to try, would we be happier? We all complain about problems at work, but, it is because there are problems, that we have jobs. All of us are essentially problem solvers. Without problems, you have no job. When people become unable to solve problems at their job, they are replaced with people who can. When people become great problem solvers, they are quickly promoted to solve bigger and more important problems.
“Failure is merely an opportunity to more intelligently begin again.” -Henry Ford
In the TV series The Twilight Zone, there was an episode where a man is robbing a store and during his getaway, he is shot and dies. He wakes up in the afterlife where a guardian is there and tells him that he is here to give him whatever he wants. The man is suspicious of course so he asks for money, and BAM, money appears in the nearby drawer. He ask for women and beautiful women suddenly surround him. He asks for a new suit and he gets it. He’s on cloud 9. Later, he goes to the casino and every dice he rolls he wins money and every card he plays, he wins money. Nothing ever goes wrong. After a few days, the man says: “I’m tired of this! I’m tired of winning! I don’t get it, I didn’t do anything right in my life, why did I get to go to heaven?” The guardian turns to him and says in a devious voice, “Who said this was heaven?”
Rod Serling was a master of plot twists and each show imbued within it a powerful message. We think we want to have a life of everything given to us in a silver spoon where we don’t have to work for it. We all have dreams and aspirations and when we work hard to reach those dreams, it’s not the dream itself that matters, but what we become in the process. Embrace problems.