100 Ways To Live A Better Life – 45. Stop Solving The Wrong Problem

You are not here only to witness the bad things in your life. Nor your overall performance as a human being. You are here to enjoy a journey. To become aware. To grow. So, stop solving the wrong problem and focus on what really matters.

We’re often taught that numbers or metrics are things of value. We should aim for a certain number of money in the bank account. Or we should be doing a certain number of things to feel happy.

Numbers and metrics are just handles for the real stuff. Don’t settle for the handles, take the whole pot. Fulfillment and happiness can’t be measured, they can only be experienced. You can’t be just 95.43% happy.

You can be only happy, so stop solving the wrong problems and focus on the desired solutions. 

Why You Need To Stop Solving The Wrong Problem

Simply put: because of the resources. They are limited, you know. Starting with your limited amount of physical power, or memory, or persuasion, up to the most expensive resource of all: time. We’re here for a very limited amount of time. That’s the bare truth.

But being unable to live with this truth all the time, we start telling stories about what we think we’re here for. The more we tell these stories to ourselves, the more we start to believe them. We start to believe that we need a very successful career, or we start to believe that we need a lot of money. These are the stories we tell to ourselves.

The truth, on the other side, is that we have very little time here and we should be doing whatever we can to take advantage of it as much as we can. We should train our focus. We should enhance our decision making ability. We should strive towards improving ourselves.

These are the real “problems” we should focus on. The rest is optional.

And one very simple trick that will put you on the right track every time you get distracted is what I call “the airplane perspective”. Have you ever been on an airplane? Do you remember how small the houses, the people, the cars, well, everything is from there? Then you know what I’m talking about.

Every time you get caught in “an emergency” just picture yourself up in a plane and ask the following questions: “how big this emergency really is, as seen from this plane?”, “how it’s going to look if I go even higher?”, “will this continue to be an emergency once I land back on earth?”. You got the idea. Just take a few steps back (or up, in this case) and change the perspective. See how the emergency will look now.

The first consequence of this simple procedure is that your pulse will be normal again. I can guarantee that in 99% of cases, that will really happen. Believe me, I’ve been there thousands of times and what looks like an emergency is nothing but some rehearsed panic, something that is not even linked to the current situation. It’s a trigger that pulls out some buried old patterns. That’s what’s happening in 99% of the situations. The rest of 1% is usually a real life emergency and that should be dealt with instantly.

The second consequence is that you will begin to form a priority filter. By using this perspective you will learn, slowly, what you should really focus on and what’s just something that looks big and important, but it isn’t.

And the third consequence will be that will finally start to understand how much time you wasted so far, only because you’ve been focusing on solving the wrong problem.

further reading

Solving The Wrong Problem

2 thoughts on “100 Ways To Live A Better Life – 45. Stop Solving The Wrong Problem”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing the airplane perspective…just what I needed to hear today…so simple yet so powerful! Merry Christmas to you and yours!


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