I thrive on ’em!
I beg for ’em!
I wallow around in ’em
like a pig in slop!”
“I gotta percolate a little. . .”
(referring to a dilemma where there
appears no solution possible
that was pleasing to him.)
— Paul Newman, as Gov. Earl Long
from the 1989 movie, Blaze
“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities–
brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.”
— John W Gardner
“The problems of the world cannot possibly
be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons
are limited by the obvious realities. We need
men who can dream of things that never were.”
— John F Kennedy
Tonight I watched a movie I don’t recall ever seeing before with Paul Newman, called ‘Blaze.’ I loved it. What a great actor and the story was quite interesting. One part of it just jumped out at me and I had to write it down. It is the first quote above. He said he thrived on problems, begged for them and liked to wallow around in them like a pig in slop. I had to laugh and it was a powerful lesson at the same time.
How many times have we problems and they just get us down and sometimes they even seem to be so hard to solve, or maybe even seem insoluble. I say, ‘we,’ but maybe it’s just me, so I’ll use first person: sometimes I’ve had a pile of problems all at once, some problems have been big, some small, and some that seemed so difficult, I felt like I needed a miracle. Sometimes I would ignore them and hope they would go away, other times, I’d be brave and face them and deal with them as best I could. And, all my life, though the specific nature of the problem may change, the problems yet persist and make themselves well known.
It’s enough to get a person depressed, cause to drink, fodder for anger and self-pity, and generally feel crappy about. Phrases like, “if it’s not one thing, it’s another,” have been said many times–in fact, I recall hearing my mother say that when I was small. As they are solved, and it seems they always finally get solved one way or the other, others take their place, and that ever present worry stirs the pot with vigor and delight.
Well, enough of that.
I’m embarking on a new journey: I am developing a love affair with problems! I want to get excited, stimulated, enlightened, and joyful about them! I want to see them for what they really are, to strip them bare and welcome them with open arms. I am learning to truly appreciate problems for what they truly are: contrast.
With my new attitude about problems, I see that which I don’t want and that is enlightening. The trick here is to appreciate the messenger, while turning away from the message and focusing on what I really want, which quickly enough becomes the solution.
Now the difference is this: I used to focus on the message, or the problem itself. I would stew about it, repeat it, tell others about it and generally spend a lot of time with it. Now, I appreciate it’s arrival, and turn to focus on what I want instead. I respect the contrast of the problem showing me what I don’t want, so that I can then choose what I do want and go focus on it.
It is making all the difference. In fact, one of my clients told me how calm and peaceful I looked today. Very interesting. . .
Without Problems, There Would Be No Anything.
Spread Some Joy Today–Get excited about some problems today! It’s just the thing that can fire you up if you will let it excite you in that way. The solutions come easily that way.