Sometimes we get lost in our assessment of how many or big problems we have. Not that we should always be positive. But what we focus on grows stronger. In fact, the more we focus on a problem, the more problems we get to solve.
Problems to solve
We humans are often more likely to discover what is wrong than what is right. Maybe because it increases our chances of survival if we quickly discover what is abnormal? It’s good in that case. But constantly focusing on what is problematic does not make anyone happier.
Which is more important – the problem or the solution?
One trap that is easy to fall into is to put more energy into the problem than the solution. Especially if you feel frustrated or wrongly treated. Then it may be wise to think about which solution you are longing for. Do you want to be right or do you want to feel good? Different problems can probably give different answers to that question. But I think we would often benefit from focusing on the solution that makes us feel good. If we are not looking for problems because we are bored of course.
Old problems that get bigger and bigger
Recurring problems can be quite tiring. Things that we often get annoyed about also tend to generate a stronger negative reaction than what might actually be reasonable. It is as if the reaction becomes charged with more and more energy the longer something has been “wrong”. Maybe because we conclude that the longer it has been going on, the longer it will take to resolve? And we rarely like solutions that take a long time.
But is it true that the solution is further away if the problem is old?
It depends. The more “charged” the problem is, the more inflexible we tend to become. If you want to find a solution for real, it can be good to see if it is possible to change your way of looking at the problem. Is there only one solution or several options? Is there a solution that means I can start to feel good/better right away? When you shift your energy from the problem to the solution, it can also affect others involved. This in turn can create an unexpected opening.
Shift your focus
A good way to shift ones focus from the problem is to start looking for what works well. It may well be that everything would have been “perfect” if it were not for that detail that bothers us. But does it really remove all that is good? In any case, it is quite certain that we have more fun and feel better, if we spend more time thinking about what is good than about what is wrong.