We tend to see our life as made up of problems. If you talk with people and listen to your own talk it is clear we are obsessed with problems. We don’t have enough money. We don’t have enough love. Our boss doesn’t like us. Our life is full of these things and it drives us crazy. The number one killer in our society is heart disease and if you look at the data this is caused by stress. And stress is generated by….you guessed it…our infatuation with our problems.
If we solve a big problem we feel relief – for a while. Then we start thinking of another problem. And we start feeling stressed and panicky.
Why do we do this? Let us try to drill deeper and see what is going on. Are problems a consequence of the natural world? Hardly.
Problems are a perceptual issue. It is caused by thinking that what we are seeing and chasing is real. Metaphorically it is a chimera we chase. All our effort is caused by chasing after things we think will make us happy. Instead what we are chasing is smoke and mirage.
We really have 2 choices here.
1) If what we believe to be real is a construct then it is more like a game. Games should relieve stress not enhance it. We need to go at our ‘problems’ in a spirit of competition and that requires understanding that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. So work on your problems, engage them with a fierce competitiveness but don’t worry about the result.
2) Decide that what we ‘see’ isn’t real and dedicate yourself to obtaining clarity in what you observe. Don’t settle for answers others give you. Find the wizard behind the screen and demand answers.
Let us go back to the original question about what a problem is. A problem is lack of clarity in some essential way. It shows a mismatch between what you desire and what you obtain. What causes this has many reasons but the continual finding of problems is an indication of lack of clarity in how we perceive and hence act.