Problems vs challenges

Problems or challenges are just our way of defining the same thing. Even if some people make a clear difference between the two, both are actually just obstacles we encounter. They are unexpected things that we run into in our day to day lives, in our activities, at our jobs, or in our relationships.

The only real difference between the two is the attitude you have towards an unexpected situation. A person who is reluctant to change, who finds it hard to adapt and who wants things to always be as they were, will see these changes as problems. Relating to them as problems will only make you want to solve that specific situation as soon as possible in order for things to go back as they were.

On the other hand people who see each obstacle as an opportunity for improvement, a chance to transform things into something better will see obstacles as challenges. This will offer them the possibility to use their best skills, to create something special, to shine. Thus they will try to innovate and create a way to make these obstacles obsolete.

You can choose to solve problems or to take on challenges and transform things. It’s your choice if you want to become a problem solver or an innovator. We need both, but in a world where most people are taught that obstacles are problems that need to be solved, innovators are highly appreciated and rewarded.

Each obstacle is your chance to do something memorable. Focus on innovating rather than just solving problems if you want to make a real contribution.

Don’t be so stiff

It’s all about your attitude towards the things around you, the people you meet and life in general. Stiff people tend to be reluctant to change, more difficult to communicate with, harder to collaborate with, and unpleasant to be around of. People hate it when you are stiff.

Seriously. You are doing it right now. Stop that, relax, put a smile on your face and don’t worry. Being stiff will never help you. Ever. On the contrary, it will only do you harm so as soon as you change your attitude the better it will be.

A relaxed person will be more opened towards others, will create more meaningful relationships and communicate better. This is the cornerstone of any good relationship, business or personal.

Once you let go of your rigidity, you will become more adaptable to any situation you will encounter, to any challenges that might arise. Being adaptable to change is one of the secrets to succeed in a constantly changing world, environment and society.

Stiff people find it hard to smile, enjoy and be happy.

In what we trust

We put our trust in so many. We trust things; we trust our car to start in the morning, the internet to run, the knife to cut, the phone to have enough battery to last us until we get home. We trust people; we trust the weather girl to tell us if we should take an umbrella or not, our friends to be there for us, people whom we admire to impress us, our loved ones to always be our loved ones. We also trust brands, Gods, imaginary friends, institutions, even the universe.

Trust is built over time by constantly making the same decisions. If you constantly buy from a certain brand, eat at the same place, spend quality time with certain people, you’ll tend to keep doing that exact same choice.

This is our way of skipping the decision making cycle and use past decisions for our present choices. We do this because is comfortable; it’s easy to use an old decision over and over again instead of always analyzing the situation and repeating the decision making cycle.

The problem with this is that eventually they’ll end up by letting us down. It’s normal because everything changes, we do, they do and, at one point, when we count on them to be as we expected or as we knew them, they won’t.

What we can do is put our trust in our principles, constantly make decisions based on the present situation and not on the past or prior decisions. This might need more effort and time spent, but it will certainly lead to better decisions and less disappointment.

Always the best decision

What I often hear from people is complains about past decisions they made. I hear that they are not happy with some of the their decisions, that they made the wrong choices at a certain point, that if they were to choose again they wouldn’t make the exact same choice.

The truth is that everyone always makes the best decision. You too have also made only right decisions until now. I am sure you are thinking of a few you consider as bad, but the truth is that even those were the right decisions.

To make it clear, I am not talking about faith, or destiny, or a divine plan. It’s that every choice is made based on the information we have at the moment when we make the decision and we always want to try and make the best decision based on our judging criteria.

The wrong impression about the decisions you have made in the past is because you analyze them based on the information you posses now. Once you have either acquired more information, seen the results, or have changed the criteria of your decision making process, you have changed the base of your decision and that’s no longer the same decision.

There are no wrong decisions but only a lack of information or a bad set of criteria.

The myth of free things

We hear about free things all the time; in different promotions to all kinds of things, product presentations, samples, demo sessions.

Free actually means that they won’t ask you for any money in return for their products or what else they might offer, but they will still demand something from you. It’s all about the time and attention you are going to offer them. That is what you are going to be paying with.

Even if at first this might not seem like a bad deal, if you consider all the options you have to direct your time and attention to, it might not turn out to be the deal you were hoping for. I am certain you had, at least for a few moments in your life, the feeling that you have wasted your time with something not worth while, that you wasted your time when you could have used it to do something else that mattered, something important, something rewarding, something fun.

Everything has a price, just make sure it is worth it.