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A Different Way of Seeing Problems

Google "problem solving" and you'll be met with over one billion pages housing countless tips and frameworks for solving problems. All of them assume that the problem is an external thing to be solved.

What if how we've defined a problem is...the problem? Problems are "out there" and we're "in here" trying to figure them out. Problems are puzzles to be solved or things to fix, not circumstances that have occurred.

What if, instead, we viewed problems as a mental construction? What if, at their root, they are nothing more than a dislike for current circumstance, a wishing for them to be different or better? What if everything we see as a problem 'out there' is really just a relentless attachment to our thoughts about the stuff that's happening around us?

Here's how you can test this: Take something in your life that you currently see as a problem.

Write down everything about it. Everything you can think of that makes it a problem.

How much of the problem is thought-based?

This includes: assumptions, stories about how things "should be" (spoiler alert: this is a big one!), frustrations about how things are, violations of belief systems (beliefs = thoughts on long-term repeat).

Take away all that thought and what is left?

A circumstance.

It's just a circumstance that you don't like or think should be otherwise.

The key word is "think".

Is it possible there is no problem other than believing that your thoughts are true? Is it possible there is nothing to solve or figure out? What freedom can this different way of seeing offer you?

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