Recognizing problems for what they are–temporary tests of your ability to resolve an issue– won’t do you much good if don’t know how to overcome the problem and move forward.
“A problem is something you can do something about. If you can’t do something about it, then it’s not a problem, it’s a predicament. That means it’s something that must be coped with, endured.” -Abraham Kaplan
We as people tend to treat predicaments as problems, which can cause us to become frustrated, angry, or depressed. And when people treat predicaments as problems, they most often settle, give up, or see themselves as victims. Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you go to work today and find out that the company is out of business. The company is done, and so is your job. This is a predicament — unless you’re in a financial position to buy the company. But let’s assume you’re not. What do you do? You could waste energy complaining about losing your job, or attempt to talk your boss into buying the company. Either way, you’re better off working on solving the problem of finding another job or starting your own business.
Try this the next time you have a predicament or problem. Ask yourself this question before you get your nerves all worked up,
“is this a problem – can I do something about this…or is this a predicament – something I have to cope with?”
If you separate predicaments from problems, then you know what to do. You’ve put yourself in a much better position to deal with the predicaments, and solve the problems.