When I was in school, I was naive enough to believe that problems existed only in Physics text books. But when I stepped out into the real world, it put the physics problems to shame!
We are hardly ever prepared for the real world.We are just thrust out there and expected to act like everything is normal.
I sometimes think about my days in school and laugh at the fact that I thought, sitting in the exams, that these are the hardest problems I will face in my life! Now, I wish I could have those days back.
Our lives are like thousands of pages of unsolved physics problems but maybe it doesn’t have to be.
What if I took away all your problems?
I can already visualize you laughing out loud and mocking me but hear me out.
When I talk about taking away the problem, I am talking about the concept of it more than the act of physically making it go away.
Your perception of something has a big impact on your mental health and your body language. I tend to use the restroom a lot more when I am anxious about something. My shoulders tense up when I am angry. I am irritated and frustrated when I am hungry!
If we perceive a dog as a threat, our brain will kick in the adrenaline and other stress hormones that help protect us. Instead, if we think of a dog as a friend, the brain will send signals to release dopamine in the body which makes us feel happy and good!
Now imagine, how your problems will look like if you start perceiving them differently?
Instead of thinking of it as a problem, what if you re-frame it as a dilemma?
Let me explain.
The dictionary defines the word dilemma as a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives.
Just by calling it a dilemma, you have taken off the psychological edge that it brings with it. This allows you to put your guard down, which will then lead to creative solutions.
Most of our problems are not worth the stress we let it create. We spend more energy stressing about it than actually looking for a solution and calling it a dilemma might just clear up the head space to do so!
The difference between a problem and a dilemma is the difference between something weird and interesting.
Calling something weird will keep you away from it but call it interesting and your curiosity piques.
In the same way, ‘dilemma’ sounds inviting whereas a ‘problem’ will just keep everyone at bay. Come to think of it, people don’t want your problems but they sure will help you come out of a dilemma!
By thinking dilemma over a problem, you open the doors for a conversation. The simple shift in vocabulary leads to a big shift in our mindset. Our language influences our subconscious mind, which then determines the kind of thought process we have and the perspective we build.
I am not promising any drastic changes but doing this over time, you will lose the fear and the stress that a problem often brings with it, allowing you to tackle it head on without losing a lot of sleep over it.
So, next time, choose to call it a dilemma and not a problem.