Life isn’t perfect and it never will be. There will always be things that come up that aren’t ideal - They’re inconvenient, unfortunate, disappointing, and stress inducing. That’s just the nature of the human experience. These are the problems and challenges of life, but we approach each one differently depending on how we label it, which is evident when we contrast them side by side.
A problem suggests that something needs to be fixed. It implies that things are worse right now than they should be. A challenge is more an opportunity for improvement. It implies that things aren’t dire right now, but they can certainly be better if you put work into it.
This distinction carries into the energy both words carry. A problem is something that consumes your energy. It’s something that you try to avoid and prevent, and when it comes up it’s usually a bad thing. A challenge is something that inspires you, it excites you, and you look forward to doing it. A challenge energizes you and gives you a game to play that you get to enjoy and feel good about.
As you probably determined for yourself, we should try to approach our problems as challenges more often. Anything that helps us live more moments with enthusiasm and inspiration is something we should take seriously because it’s an opportunity to improve our life experience. When we gamify life we tap into a youthful, curious, and optimistic energy that truly alters our reality.
But having said that, sometimes it’s really hard to have perspective. Some things are just meant to be problems, that’s the nature of them and it’s difficult to reframe your mind. In those moments, my suggestion is to not force something that is out of integrity with your best self. Give yourself the space to confront and accept whatever it is, feel it in the short-term, and once you’ve processed that then you can get to work on reframing a more positive way you can do something about it.
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