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Put Problems in Perspective!

Happiness Challenge / August 27, 2019

The degree of our success in life depends on one thing: how we handle the problems thrown to us. There is no one who is free from problems. Knowing that problems are inevitable in the course of our lives, there are three ways that we can change our perspective towards them.


Quite often when we face problems we lose sight of the fact that no matter how bad we think our situation is, it could always be worse. If we are alive, healthy and our mental faculties work fine, we can apply our physical and mental resources to solve the problem we are stuck in. 


Secondly, without problems we would not progress! Sounds strange? Think about all the inventions that changed the course of mankind: the wheel, the steam engine, the electric bulb, antibiotics, the telephone, the internet. They all emerged as a result of trying to solve a problem. As they say - necessity is the mother of invention. 


Lastly, God is way bigger than the biggest problems we may be facing. As our Divine Father, who is always interested in our highest welfare, God wants us to bravely face challenges while keeping our faith in His protection. Through this process we will fulfill the destiny He has in store for us and become perfect like Him. Problems then, are simply opportunities for spiritual growth. 

In this video Swamiji encourages us to change the way in which we see our problems.

Podcast - How to Face Obstacles and Difficulties in Life?


Video Transcript - How to Face Obstacles and Difficulties in Life?

A service engineer in New York checked his email one evening and found a requisition from a company in Jacksonville, Florida, for him to come the next day to repair the machine they had purchased. The other email was from a client in Bakersfield, California, insisting that their plant had come to a standstill and he definitely had to report there the next day for repairing the machine. He went to sleep pondering what was to be done. Next morning, there was one message from Midfield, Texas, saying that if he didn’t report there as soon as possible, they would cancel the order. This man munched his breakfast, gathered his stuff, walked out of his house, and waved a taxi. The taxi driver came and said, “Sir, where should I take you?”  The man said, “Take me anywhere. I don’t care. I have got problems everywhere.” Isn’t that very often the way life is? When problems are an unavoidable part of life, we need to have a solution for handling them.


Today, on day nineteen of this happiness challenge we are going to discuss how to face obstacles and difficulties, without allowing them to rob our happiness.


One girl went to college for the first time and began staying in the hostel dormitory. Three months, after she had been there, she wrote a letter to her mother. The letter read, “Mommy, I need to confess. One month after I had been in the hostel, I made a mistake. I stole a 100-dollar from my roommate, and with that, I rented a motorcycle. Unfortunately, I had an accident and collided into a lamppost because of which my thighbone broke. But mommy there was nothing much to worry about. Because a handsome doctor living down the lane, he took me his home and nursed me. And mommy, I want you to know that we have fallen in love and decided to get married. The only problem is there is a disease that is showing up in the blood test. I hope it gets resolved before the child pops out. The mother who was reading that note was horrified. What is happening to my darling daughter? However, the letter concluded, actually mommy, none of this is true. The only thing that has happened is I have gotten an ‘F’ in Calculus. I wanted you to see it in the proper perspective.


You see it was just an F. It was not the end of the world. The problems could have been far bigger. In the same way when we do have problems falling upon us, the first thing to do is to step back and place it in its proper perspective. Is it really as big as my mind is making it out to be? And then we will realize that there are people who have far bigger problems. And the one we are facing is really not as serious as it seems. Problems are a part of the journey of life. If you climb a mountain, how is the road going to be? Uphill, naturally.


Similarly, if you are progressing in life it is only to be expected that problems will come. I am reminded of a cartoon I saw. One man was changing the punctured wheel of his car. His little son was sitting inside, and the son was asking, “Papa, why is this happing to us?” The father had responded, “Son, this is not a TV channel that we can switch it. This is life.” So, difficulties and hardships will come. Learn to anticipate problems. It is said- In boxing, the punch that knocks one out is not the hardest one, but the one that was not anticipated. So put your problem in its proper perspective, gather your courage, enhance your inner strength, and face it bravely.


Today, take this as your homework. The problems that you are facing think, are they really as big as our mind is making them out to be? Put them in their place and tomorrow we will meet again to understand how we can learn and actually grow and benefit from the problems in our life.


Thank you!