Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

Is This Really a Problem?

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Is your life full of problems?

There are situations and dilemmas and unfortunate events that feel like problems. There is a financial crisis that weighs heavier on you than the sky on Atlas. There is a relationship filled with so much tension, you don’t know if you will ever speak to that person again.

There is an issue that seems like the most important thing in life, and the outcome is uncertain. You don’t know how it will turn out. You don’t know if everything is going to be okay. You don’t know what will come tomorrow.

And it feels like a big problem.

photo by

photo by Jeff Berman

Maybe your problems aren’t really problems.

Not having enough food to eat is a problem. Not having access to adequate medical care is a problem. Trying to face the world as an orphaned child is a problem.

But most of the issues most of us are dealing with are not real problems. Perhaps a setback. Maybe an inconvenience. Probably a huge pain in the butt.

But not necessarily a true problem.

Most of the “problems’ we face are typically a choice we made. A consequence from a decision.

  • Lying to a spouse.
  • Cheating on taxes.
  • Staying up too late watching television.
  • Credit card debt.
  • Eating out at Taco Bell.

They feel like problems, these issues, but they aren’t. They are all the result of choices. They are all the result of decisions, both recent and remote.

The point of this article isn’t to establish blame. It is achieve freedom.

As long as you view these issues in our life as problems, you will remain a powerless victim. An innocent bystander who found himself at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The goal is to give yourself the power to respond and make a different choice. Accepting your role in creating the problem is the first step in accepting your role in changing the problem.

No, you can’t change people. And no, you can’t make people act differently. But by seeing your problem as a choice you made, you give yourself the freedom to make a different choice.

Some things do happen to you that you had absolutely no influence over.  But even this type of problem presents an opportunity to make a choice. No matter the cause, you always get to choose how we respond to your problem.

When life presents a problem, try asking yourself a few questions.

  • Is this really a problem?
  • Am I willing to accept what is?
  • What choices did I make that led to these consequences?
  • What new choice can I make in response?

The next time you are faced with a problem, consider seeing it as something different. Instead of a problem see the choice beyond it. Either a choice you made in the past or a choice you get to make in the future.

And then make a better choice.

Do you agree or disagree that life’s problems are choices?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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