December 2, 2019

“Find a new perspective on a problem you face……”

The following was written as a response to some “optimistic” thoughts for the day that I was recently asked to comment on.

Today’s hint for happiness is……..

Find a new perspective on a problem you face.     

To what purpose? Will that alleviate the problem? It may do, or it may make things worse.

You might discover that it’s not as bad as you think; that, I presume, is the idea behind this little piece of positivity. On the other hand, it may become glaringly obvious that things are indeed awful, dreadful, no way forward, the end of the line. ☹

The “problem” with this advice is the use of the word “new”. This means “lately made or produced, fresh, lately happened or discovered” to list a few definitions. So, this additional perspective would not necessarily be helpful. It could just give you more of the same.  I suspect that a better word would be “different”, because that would describe looking at something in a manner that is not the same, that is unlike the previously held view, and therefore more conducive to finding an alternative solution.

To take a step back and look at a problem, a situation, or indeed yourself, in a different light, can be not just illuminating, and a way of solving problems, but the kickstart you need to reboot your life! Taking time out to look clearly at yourself, to delve deep to discover what you want, why you want it and where you are headed, is something we often avoid; either because to do so seems self-indulgent, or because it brings to mind things we prefer to keep hidden. Meditation is my tool of preference, but it’s not the only way.

It’s also true that sometimes things cannot be changed; the problem must be faced up to, the terrible situation cannot be wished away; we must live through it, and to survive we must adapt.

 “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

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