By Robert H.
Problems! We all
face them at one time or another. What problems do to you and how
you handle them will determine whether or not you can achieve
success. One of the chapters in my book, Success Is Never Ending and
Failure Is Never Final, is entitled, ěTurning Failure Thinkers into
Success Thinkers.î In that chapter, I deal at length with this
subject of problems.
To become a
success thinker instead of a failure thinker, you need to develop a
positive mental attitude toward problems. The basis of this subject
is the Bible verse, " If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed,
you can say to your mountain move and it will move, and nothing will
be impossible to you."
These words of
Jesus do not say, "If you have faith (or a positive attitude) toward
a mountain it'll go away." No! He said, "If you have faith, the
mountain will MOVE!"
will move. It will change shape. It will appear less formidable. The
haze will lift, a path will appear. Why? Because now you have faith.
Now you have a new attitude toward your mountain. You are no longer
looking at it out of fear or anger. Now you see it as a glorious
challenge! Has the mountain changed? Yes, but even more so YOU have
changed and your perspective has changed!
Today I want to
give you ten positive attitudes toward a problem. These ten
attitudes will diffuse the negative attitudes that can stand in your
way. After all, here is what problems can do to you:
* Embarrass you.
* Anger you.
* Confuse you.
* Depress you.
* Control you.
* Buffalo you.
* Stop you.
* Mislead you.
* Paralyze you.
Problems can do
all that to you. But, today, I will give you ten positive attitudes
that can diffuse all of the ten negative results of problems.
||Recognize that: |
||It's O.K. to have problems. |
||You contributed to the problem somehow. |
||It's rarely "a" single problem. |
||Every problem has met its match somewhere. |
||Every problem is pregnant with a possibility. |
||Your problem is either solvable or manageable! |
||No problem is totally impossible. |
||Every problem is temporary. |
||Problems are frequently just distortions. |
||A problem is just a decision waiting to be made.
When you can
adopt the positive attitude that problems are O.K., then you have a
solution to the embarrassment that problems can bring. If you have a
problem, don't be embarrassed about it. Problems are natural.
So often in my
role as a pastor, I have seen embarrassment hold people back from
seeking the help they need. Young couples, struggling to make their
marriage work, are always embarrassed when they come to see me. It
is such a shame, because too often they let the embarrassment
prolong the problem, allowing it to get worse.
I say to these
young couples, "It's O.K. to have a problem. Don't be embarrassed
because you are here. All marriages require adjustments from time to
Then I take my
wrist watch off and add, ěHere's a watch. You can engineer the gears
and the springs so that it will run perfectly. Why? Because the
parts retain their same size forever. But, if this watch was made
out of independent gears that could grow, then you would have to
expect to make adjustments over the years. One gear would grow a
little faster than another and before long the watch would be jammed
up. You want your marriage to run harmoniously like a watch.
However, you are two independent individuals. You are not constant
gears. You are growing and changing. Don't expect your growth rate
to be the same. You will need constant retuning."
When you deal
with the embarrassment that a problem brings, you are taking the
first step toward solving it, you are dealing with it on a very
profound and redemptive level. At that point, the problem has
already changed shape.
that you helped create your problems.
I don't think
I've ever had a problem that I didn't create to some degree.
A husband says,
"My wife is my problem!"
To which I
reply, "You chose to marry her!"
says, "My company is my problem!"
To which I say,
"Who told you to work in that company?"
If you will look
at the root of your life's problems, in every instance you will see
that you created it. You made a decision, and as a result you now
have this problem.
Once you can
honestly accept some of the responsibility for your problems, you
will find that you have diffused your anger. You can't blame others
any longer. You can now be free from victimitis and self-pity.
problem is ever "a" single problem.
always complex. Understanding that will clarify the confusion.
Break down your
big problem into several smaller problems. For instance, if you are
unemployed, that is the big problem that you are facing. It feels
overwhelming and confusing. However, once you have broken it down
into smaller problems, then you can handle the smaller options one
at a time. Perhaps one of the smaller problems is that you need to
learn some new skills. You can handle that problem by looking into a
course that will teach you what you need in order to get ahead.
your problem? Divide it up and deal with each one individually.
Confusion now can be replaced with clarity. Your problem, your
mountain, is beginning to move!
problem has met its match somewhere.
miracle to match every mountain. You only need to find it. It is
there! You will find it! If you look hard and long enough! So, if
you feel intimidated by your problem, believe and know that there is
a solution somewhere that is matched for the problem. Once you can
change your attitude toward your problem, you are no longer
intimidated by it and you will begin to think of possibilities. You
will think of people who can help you find the solution. You're on
problem is pregnant with a possibility.
problem have you depressed? Then you need to be reminded that this
problem is good for you. You will benefit from this. You will grow
from it. You will be a bigger and a better person because of it.
In Idaho, the
potato farmers who want to get the best price for their potatoes,
sort them according to their size: small, medium, and large. My
friend told me of farmer, however, who had the reputation for being
lazy. He just took all of his potatoes, and threw them onto the
truck and drove them into town. As far as everybody knew, this
farmer was paid the lowest price for his spuds. Everybody made fun
of him until one day, one of the ambitious farmers happened to be
there when the lazy farmer got paid for his potatoes. He noticed
that the lazy farmer got the same high price that the other farmers
got, who took the time to sort their potatoes. The ambitious farmer
complained to the owner of the cooperative. The buyer replied, "Oh,
he sorts his potatoes!"
"Oh no, he
doesn't. We all know what he does. He takes them right out of the
ground. He puts 'em on the truck and he hauls 'em to town. He never
bothers to sort 'em."
The lazy farmer
was at the door and he overheard the conversation. He said, "I sort
my potatoes. I just do it differently than you. I always take the
rough road into town, for big potatoes always rise to the top on a
farmer went out to the truck with the lazy farmer and looked at the
truck. Sure enough. The little potatoes were all at the bottom. The
middle size potatoes were in the middle. The big ones were at the
When you go
through rough times, if your heart is right, you will rise to the
problem is either solvable or manageable.
You can have
control over your problem when you realize that it does not have
control over you. There is no need for problems to have control, and
the way you can get back in the driver's seat is to adopt a positive
mental attitude toward your problem. There is no such thing as an
unsolvable or unmanageable problem. That is the truth. All other
negative attitudes are just illusions that can drain the creative
energy needed to find the solution. Change your perception of the
problem. Once you do that you have changed the shape of the problem.
You are on your way! You can do it! You can lick this problem! You
can say to your mountain move, and IT WILL MOVE!
problem is totally impossible.
come they tend to buffalo us. We have to stop and say, "Wait a
minute! It's not totally impossible. There is some part of the
problem that I can deal with. I'm going to find out what part that
is, and deal with it positively. And as soon as I deal with a chunk
of the problem, I've taken a piece of the mountain off and the
mountain has changed shape.î
# 8. Every
problem is temporary.
I talked to a
young man this week who was threatening suicide. I said to him, " I
think it's a dumb thing to do."
He replied, "You
wouldn't say that if you were in my spot."
"I'd still think
it's a dumb thing." I repeated, "Because suicide is a permanent
solution to a temporary problem."
temporary. When we encounter problems we tend to think that we will
be forever faced with this problem. It will never go away. It will
plague us the rest of our lives. Nothing could be further from the
truth! The truth is that you will go through this problem, and you
will emerge on the other side of it victorious!
As soon as you
can recognize this positive attitude toward your problems and face
the distortions that are there, then you can keep your problems from
misleading and misdirecting you.
has a distortion in it. Problems have a tendency to reflect life
much like the fun mirror in the carnival. It would not be
intelligent to base decisions on your appearance after you've looked
at yourself in such a mirror, would it? Neither would it be smart to
base decisions on your life based on the distortions that a problem
is causing. That is why I have always advised my family, "Never,
never, NEVER make an irreversible decision during a low time of your
life. Wait! Let the immediate negative impact of a problem fade
before you make a hasty decision that you will later regret."
are only decisions waiting to be made.
If I face my
problem deep enough, long enough and carefully enough, I will
finally come to the realization that I don't have a problem at all.
I just have a decision to make. And the reason I call it a problem
is that the decision is scary, risky or unpleasant. I wish I didn't
have to do it.
recognize that a problem is only a decision, then you are in control
of the problem and when God is in control of your life, then you can
rest assured that He will help you make the right decision.
God can be in
control of your problem. He can help you turn your mountain into a
gold mine. He can help you turn your problems into possibilities.
And He will do it because He loves you very, very much!
you, Lord, for the way You have spoken to us today. You have assured
us that if we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, we can say to
our problem move and it will move and our lives will never be the
same again. Thank You for being our friend, our Savior, our Comfort,
our Lord. We love You and praise You! Alleluia Amen.