Why should we be happy when we encounter obstacles?

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Solving problems in our lives has a well-defined purpose, namely to add to our knowledge, abilities or (why not?) consolidating our social principles or knowledge of our own selves.

shutterstock_170988695Solving, we learn; Working, we obtain; Erring, we grow and understand; Winning, we know or test our limits and the examples could continue. The important thing is to observe that through our day-to-day actions, whether they are more or less satisfactory for us or for those with whom we interact, we can identify and take advantage of the opportunities that motivate and energize us hard enough to be proud of ourselves and to become more efficient or more specific precisely in those contexts in which we need such improvement.

And so the question arises: How can we, through our actions, identify and take advantage of various opportunities? Especially when, many times, obstacles appear in our path? Obstacles facilitate the identification of opportunities. Sometimes the role of “impediments” in our lives is to open our eyes or to “temper” (strengthen) us, as our grandparents would say.

When a problem demoralizes or wounds us (physically or sentimentally-emotionally-socially) it is most surely not the best situation in which we could find ourselves but, in order to reach future situations of the best sort, we must learn how to understand, address, and overcome the bumps we face periodically.

Sometimes, as we overcome a difficult situation, we find out what we need to do as we continue with our lives. Thus, a person’s calmness in extreme situations can be a source of peace and trust to others and thus a career in, for example, social assistance, medicine, group therapy and so on, may be a good match. At the same time, an analytical, strategic, organized person may become a good investigator, counsellor, mathematician and so on. Similarly, the initiative, courage, adrenaline and intelligence of another person may mean for that person a socio-professional path in politics, the military and so on.

Therefore, when an obstacle appears, we can undertake the following actions:

  • Figure out how we arrived at the respective situation (many times “unexpected situations appear unexpectedly”);
  • See what instruments or resources we can use to try to overcome the snag;
  • Think about who we can ask for help—if we can get help, why wouldn’t we? (there’s strength in numbers);
  • Decide how we can act and how we can address the difficult situation and then, of course, whatever the result of our actions may be, we must evaluate or examine what happened—by using this strategy we will understand how we can become better next time or obtain favourable results.

Sometimes, problems can be our friends—they’re harsh, but they don’t lie; rather, through them we learn how to live. How we can consolidate a friendship relation? Through time spent together with our friends, through common activities and through supporting and helping one another. Sometimes with our friends we argue the most—it means that the relationship exists, is developing, is creating homogeneity, a better understanding, and through this correlation the relationship is consolidated and strengthened.  It’s like when we cry of happiness or, why not, when a workout requires a lot out of us and we have sore muscles for a week, but after that we feel more invigorated, more powerful.

“Trouble is a friend” is a song sung by the well-known Australian singer Lenka Kripac. Perhaps that’s how we should see the daily difficulties which we encounter: as friends. For example, how can we become organized if we don’t mess up, or how can we understand well and be properly glad of a walk in a park if we never get lost in that park? Who hasn’t gotten lost in Herastrau Park when they’ve tried to find a subway entrance?  Of course, these examples are at a low level of intensity or danger. However, when we observe that other people are also in difficulty—in the bus, at a party, in a club, at work, on the street, when we go shopping and so on, we should help them, we accept that we have a certain reluctance to “make a scene” in public but then to boldly get past that and dare to help. It is very important to mention here that we can develop our sense of civic duty thus and, of course, we will become more courageous. Slowly, step by step, we come to achieve a higher level of belief in ourselves, and then the objectives in our lives will be accomplished with higher accuracy. Everyone believes in himself; what matters is how strong that belief is.

It is very interesting to ask ourselves: What obstacles we have in our lives right now? We make a list of them and after that we plan a way to solve them, a plan of action. Subsequently, the harder thing to do is to hold fast to that plan, to respect the details, but who succeeds will get far. Also, we shouldn’t feel guilty because we got upset or because we weren’t able to properly manage a specific situation. If we feel guilty, we lose time. Ok, we were wrong, we’re sad for a period, but then we try again. Yes, there is a risk to be disappointed. But the more we try, the more the risk diminishes. It’s not necessary to be radical—if something, a situation and so on, went badly or didn’t live up to our expectations, we should at least see if it can be changed to a positive level and how we can do that. Every change or new thing brings with it a bit of fear, insecurity, or uncomfortableness, but many times it’s just that this type of new thing or change helps us to develop, to understand, to be better, correct and aware of what’s around us.

Why should we be happy? Because we can try. Many times, having faith in our efforts, we offer help, courage and well-being both to ourselves and to those around us. And… Just as spinach helped Popeye the Sailor Man to become powerful, all we need to do is to figure out what is our type of “spinach”: our principles, our family, another person, our friends, a certain motivational situation and the examples may continue.