Life is full of problems.
A few weeks ago, I was cooking dinner when I encountered a problem.
My Uncle Ben’s rice packet was too tall to fit inside the microwave.
The problematic size of my Uncle Ben’s rice packet in relation to the size of my microwave was very upsetting for me.
This was completely irrational because the inconvenience that it caused me was relatively small.
However, small everyday problems can often be extremely frustrating and I think this is because, on some level, they reflect larger ongoing issues in our lives.
However, the immediate frustration that we experience when we encounter one of these problems means that we become so emotionally involved with the situation that we neglect to think clearly about exactly why it is frustrating us.
As a result, our approach to the problem becomes more reactive as opposed to perceptive.
In order to prevent everyday problems from becoming irrationally overwhelming, it is important to keep them in perspective.
A good way of putting a problem into perspective is to try and visualise it within the context of the sheer magnitude of time and space.
However, because humans are naturally introspective, it is easy for us to become immersed in our own issues as opposed to considering the wider picture.
As a result, our perspective of what is actually important can become distorted.
Although my Uncle Ben’s rice packet was relatively large in comparison to my microwave, when related to the entire history of Planet Earth it is actually very small.
In fact, when compared to the vast expanse of the universe, my entire life is basically irrelevant.
However, this did not stop the inconvenient size of my Uncle Ben’s rice packet being a significant issue in my insignificant existence.
I am aware of the fact that the dinosaurs were around for 160 million years and modern man has only been present on Earth for 200,000 years and I have only been alive for 22 of those years but I was trying to ram my Uncle Ben’s rice packet into the microwave for 30 seconds and that bothers me.
In addition, whilst I was relating my problem to time and space, my brain began making associations between the two, meaning that the image of my Uncle Ben’s rice packet became integrated into my vision of dinosaur times.
When solving a problem, it is important to adopt a proactive, solution-focused approach.
However, this can be quite hard to do if you do not have a lot of confidence in your ability to come up with effective solutions to problems.
If you are unable to come up with an effective solution to a problem, it can be frustrating.
It is often tempting to complain order to release some of this tension.
Complaining is a completely illogical way to deal with a problem because it exhausts energy levels that could otherwise have been used to take productive action against it.
However, this is why complaining is so great.
Complaining allows you to engage with a problem whilst simultaneously procrastinating from actually attempting to solve it.
In addition, complaining often involves interacting with other people which enables you to make them aware of the problem’s existence in the hope that they will solve it for you.
If you are unable to solve your problem or find someone else to fix it for you, it is tempting to bury the problem under a mass of hardcore denial.
However, denying the existence of the problem all together can be a problem in itself as the problem often consequently resurfaces in an even more powerful state than when you initially buried it.
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