Thursday, January 3, 2019

What is a problem?

Happy New Year to my readers!  Do you feel enthusiastic and invigorated, and ready to charge ahead to reach your inspiring goals for 2019?

I am looking at this as being a year of change and improvement for me.  2018 was more of a holding pattern - I worked hard and was productive, but got bogged down with the workload and logistics and didn't make much headway.  This year my mantra is to "use the good china".  Life is short, and one becomes increasingly aware of this as the years pass.  Although I don't condone a reckless and profligate existence, I am a huge fan of following one's joy!

Big changes come with challenges, whether one is looking at fitness goals or life circumstances.  How you construe these challenges will affect the outcome.  If you view them as difficulties to be dreaded, chances are you will avoid them or give up easily.

Let's reword "challenge" to " problem".  Nowadays the word "problem" typically means an adverse situation that creates difficulty or hardship.  When I was a young 'un, the word was often used in my mathematics classes as a synonym for an equation or proof.  My algebra tests would have a bunch of questions (equations) and my task was to solve the problem, or prove such-and-such.  In this context, the problem wasn't something dreadful (although some of my classmates probably thought so!) but an interesting and thought-provoking task that required my background knowledge, critical thinking and creativity.  I enjoyed solving these problems back in the day!

If I use the lens of the math test to shape my perception of current day challenges, then they become fun puzzles to solve.  My right knee injury, for example, is a task that requires my professional and educational background, my psychological attribute of patience (still working on that one a bit) and my creativity to find ways to maintain conditioning by working out around the injury.  Ditto for finding a place to live that meets my requirements, and to developing my invention idea.  Yes, I've come up with a new piece of exercise equipment and a training methodology to accompany it, and all I need to do is render it and bring it into existence with the combination of my time and effort, and possibly an outside investor to speed up the process by covering the costs.

By shifting one's perception of challenges from dreaded difficulties to manageable puzzles worthy of one's abilities, life's "problems" become infinitely more enjoyable to tackle and solve.