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How To Handle Problems Effectively In 2020

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Founder of Art of Living, Humanitarian & Spiritual leader

5 min read

Most people wish for a problem-free life. However, such a life, if it were ever possible, would be dull and boring. As humans, we are shaped by experiences, both positive and not-so-positive. Challenging circumstances push people to expand their limits and bring more richness and beauty to the human experience. If one doesn’t have any problem, the person is likely to end up becoming a problem for others! It is better to have a problem than to be a problem! A situation becomes a problem when we perceive a gap between an actual and an ideal state of it. Not everything that looks like a problem is a problem. You could either get stuck in a problematic situation or take it as an opportunity to learn and grow in life.

Accept & Act
Whenever a problem arises, the general tendency of the mind is to either go into a denial mode or get consumed by it. A problem is not going to disappear by denying it nor will it get solved by brooding over it. The first step to practical problem-solving is accepting that the problem that has arised. This recognition enables one to focus on the solution. With the acceptance of the problem comes the ability to respond with calmness. Conversely, the inability to accept triggers agitation in mind, prompting wrong actions that worsen the situation.

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Shift UR Focus
Often, people waste too much time trying to find out the “what” and “why” of the problem. This habit of excessive post-mortem is not only energy-consuming but also makes the problem look bigger than it actually is. Rather than seeing the problem as it is, one gets overwhelmed in its exaggerated appearance. The wise way is to spend less time and energy on “what” and “why” and focus on “how” to solve the problem.

You can’t control how other people feel, you can’t control the weather, and you can’t force your spouse to change. The moment you accept the situation as it is, it is no longer a problem. Learning to accommodate opposites with patience is a valuable skill in life.

A New Vision In New Light
With the right approach and attitude, problems no longer remain problems and solutions start presenting themselves. Problems are an inevitable part of life, and your ability to solve them with grace will always be a prized trait in all the roles you play, especially those of leadership. The wise have a different way of looking at problems.
Here are five ways of looking at a problem with a calm mind.

Everything Is Changing

The realisation that everything is changing will save you from getting overpowered by problems. Just observe, your body is constantly evolving; so are your feelings, thoughts, opinions, likes, dislikes and attitude. So are your problems. Know that you are not going to be stuck with a problem for all of your life. Many issues have come and gone in your life. Remind yourself, “this too shall pass”. This intelligence to recognise the changing nature of the creation is a sign of maturity.

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Some Things Are Inevitable, So What?
The other way of looking at a problem is accepting that certain things aren’t going to change. If you expect the weather to become cold during summer, it’s bound to create problems. There are many things in life you have zero control over. You can’t control how other people feel, you can’t control the weather, and you can’t force your spouse to change. The moment you accept the situation as it is, it is no longer a problem. Learning to accommodate opposites with patience is a valuable skill in life.

Roar Like a Lion
When the above two approaches don’t work, it’s time to invoke your inner power and courage. Difficult times can bring out our hidden courage and potential in more ways than one. This valour will keep you afloat in the sea of changing and not-changing events. The feeling, “I have the power to handle it. Come what may, I will face it” is a powerful booster. When you summon this energy, self-doubt vanishes. Realise that you are more significant than the problem. A problem appears too big only when you think you cannot handle it. Look at those who have more significant problems; then yours will seem small.

Give It Up With Faith
Even after your valour has failed you, there is a way– offering or surrendering the problem to the higher power. Often we give it up in frustration. Now try giving it up in the faith. Surrender is the realisation that your effort cannot bring forth all that you want in life. The big or great cannot be had by the effort of the small mind alone. Surrender brings up a deep sense of ease, relief, and peace and gives us immense strength to smile even through difficult times.
When the body, mind and intellect are tired, you are unlikely to come up with any solution. That’s why pray, meditate and move ahead with faith. Faith brings you stability, centeredness, calmness and love.

Good Idea To Celebrate
When you are consumed by a problem, it’s a good idea to indulge in some celebration. Your life has several dimensions. If you are facing issues in your professional life, celebrate the positives in your personal life and vice versa. When you put the problem out of your mind and celebrate, solutions emerge with time. Problems and challenges add charm to life and bring the best out of you. Learn from them and grow bigger than them.