Problem (n): something that is difficult to deal with; a source of trouble. Something difficult to make sense of, or figure out.
So now that we’ve got that established: things happen all the time. Things that we didn’t plan for and for which we aren’t prepared. This is a part of life that can’t be anticipated.
Even when we think we have everything under control; scheduled, marked down, tied down and prepped to the last minute detail, life has other plans.
The irony is that it’s typically not the problem itself that causes the most grief but our subsequent failure to cope. It is the stress, the thought process and the freak-out that allows the problem to remain.
If, in each possible instance, we took a deep breath and rode the waves (both literally and figuratively, in this case), the quality of our lives would be greatly enhanced.
Think about it.
Rolling on the waves for hours is exhausting. It takes a lot of energy to support yourself as the sea shuffles you from peak to peak. You’re out there in the first place so that you can experience a rush: the goal is that big wave, as the small ripples serve as little more than nuisances in your path. Still, if you want to reach that massive, glorious swell, you have to let those ripples shuffle you; and shuffle you they will, until you make a move that leads to something bigger.
The dilemma is that this is easier said than done. When we’re dealing with problems that can’t be avoided - bills that can’t be paid; traffic that can’t be bypassed; ants in the same cookie jar we thought we’d locked up tight, we often struggle.
Which is why it’s all about perspective.
We live 100 years, if we’re very lucky. One hundred years to make the most out of everything we do; to balance what we want with what is best for us; to do what will make us happiest, while juggling the needs of others and trying to stay grounded. No one said that being a human being would be easy, so when did we start being so hard on ourselves? When did it become par for the course to stress?
Some refer to the people who epitomize the laid back, relaxed demeanor as chill, composed and flexible. Some often characterize us beneath the umbrellas of ill-fitting stereotypes; surfers, stoners, SoCal born. But this lifestyle carries with it an innate, invaluable demonstration of what it means to live life to the fullest.
A century from now, no one will know that you had a problem that was difficult to fix and no one will care. To the same token, those around you will remember you as a happy, balanced person. They will recall that you were someone they wanted to be around. They won’t care if you surfed, smoked or said “hella” but they will remember how you made them feel.
Putting our problems into perspective is the ultimate lifehack. We keep centered by reminding ourselves that ruminating on our problems is a waste of life.
Then we go to the beach.