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Making Peace with Problems


sufi-comic-no-problem

“Don’t tell God How big your problems are. Tell your problems how big God is” ~Anonymous.

Someone once said “Life is a series of problems which we must try and solve”

Is this how you find your life? A series of unending struggles to get rid problems?

Problems with your Boss.
Problems with your spouse.
Problems at work.
Problems at home.
Problems between people.

You know problems are part of life, don’t you? They won’t go away.

I can’t promise you a life without problems. But I can share a simple way to deal with problems without getting all stressed up.

Too much stress will suck the energy out of you.

I admire people who deal with problems so well. They don’t explode into angry rants. Nor do they get sucked in a dialogue with themselves.

Instead they radiate a sense of calm & do what’s necessary to deal with the problem.

Do you know people like this? They’re amazing aren’t they? How do they do it?

I’m going to show you how you can be just like them. Because this is a skill that can be learnt.

Messing up a negotiation

Early 2012, I was in a negotiation to sign a crucial contract with a new vendor. It was the beginning of a long-term relationship for our business.

And I did terribly.

I mean goofed it up. Totally.

The other party used every trick in the book & I fell for it.

At the end of it I felt like such an idiot.

Then began these stressful thoughts devouring my mind for the next several days.

“How could I have been so stupid?”
“Why did this always happen to me?”
“Why did I say that?”

Luckily the negotiations didn’t conclude and there was going to be a 2nd meeting.

I vowed I wouldn’t make the same mistakes. So before the second meeting, I began devouring all the books & MP3s I had on negotiation.

During the 2nd and final meeting, I turned the tables around. I not only got what I had in mind but was also able to keep the other party happy.

Phew!

Looking back I realize that goofing up on the first meeting became an opening for me to learn a new skill. Had I not learnt the art of negotiation I’d probably remain dumb and end making bigger mistakes.

How to get rid of Stress from problems

Just like in my experience above, every problem presents to us a hidden opportunity. The secret to removing the stress is to look at problems as an opportunity.

When you’re faced with a problem, ask yourself this Question to find the hidden opportunity:

“How can this problem help me Grow?”

The growth can be Physical, Spiritual, Intellectual or Emotional.

Let’s apply this question to common problems:

The traffic jam is driving me nuts
“How can this problem help me Grow?”
I can listen to something on my iPod. I can practice patience, breathing & being in the present moment.

I have a very demanding boss.
“How can this problem help me Grow?”
Working with a demanding boss will help me come out of my comfort zones.

I’ve got so much to do! My life is out of control. I feel like a complete wreck.
“How can this problem help me grow?”
I need to re-look at my priorities, and focus on what is most important.

My Spouse doesn’t give me the love & attention I yearn for.
“How can this problem help me grow?”
A sign I need to have a deeper dialogue with my spouse. The meaningful discussions will make our relationship more fulfilling.

I feel bloated. My trousers don’t fit me anymore.
“How can this problem help me Grow?”
A sign my eating habits need to change. I can get into a fitness regime to maintain my health & self-esteem.

The moment you apply this question, the reason for stress goes away. It melts like ice in the sun. And it’s replaced with a feeling of gratitude.

The next time you face a problem, don’t complain. Instead, talk back. And say “How can I grow today?” 🙂


Mohammed Ali Vakil

Comments

Subhana
Reply

appreciate the examples and connecting problems as reminders to draw on Allah’s Names.

Ryan
Reply

Hello,
No comment other than I’d like to receive your posts. Also, this reminder on how to face life’s training ground was welcome.

Tauhid
Reply

Alhamdulillah

Hakeem
Reply

Asalam alaikun, please were I can buy the book,im living in Spain

Hakeem
Reply

Asalam alaikun,please were I can buy this book,im living in Spain

Joseph
Reply

Such good advice. Need to practice this.

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