Once upon a time, long, long ago…. Ok, ok not so long ago. Anyway, some time ago, there was a village at the foot of a mountain. On top of the mountain there lived a wise old lady. She just sat around a fire all day and drank herbal tea. Whenever the villagers had a problem and needed wisdom, they would go to her (although it was quite a serious climb to the top of the mountain)
One day there was this guy, who had a problem and needed wisdom, so he put on his climbing gear and summit the mountain. When he reached the top the old lady saw him and shouted: “I know why you are here” and he shouted back: “You do? Why?” She answered: “Because you have a problem” The bloke thought to himself, “Big deal. Everyone could’ve guessed that”, but he walked closer anyway.
When he got there she told him: “I know you have a problem because everyone has problems – 83 to be exact. Yes, everybody has 83 problems” The guy looked a bit baffled and asked the women how she works that one out.
She replied: “Everyone has 83 problems and your job is to solve them. But be assured that when you wake up tomorrow morning, you will have 83 problems again. It’s a constant. In other words, if you solve 50 of your 83 problems today, they will be topped up back to 83 tomorrow.”
“That’s quite depressing”, the guy answered back. “Aaah, but that’s the biggest problem of them all. Actually it’s the 84’th problem. It’s the biggest one and actually the only one, because if you solve that one, you actually erase the effects of the other 83”. The guy thought to himself that this women couldn’t have been great in maths when she was in school, but he replied anyway: “And what is this 84th problem?’
The old lady gave him a wicked smile and said: “Thinking that you shouldn’t have problems. You see most people think that they shouldn’t have any problems and when they wake up every morning and find their 83 problems, they become a bit depressed, because they think they shouldn’t have them. Now they start solving them with the hope that when they are solved, they will be gone forever and they can focus on other things. So while they struggle to solve these problems they forget about the positives in their life. They reckon they can focus on that when they have solved their problems. So they put their family, children, dogs, hobbies and sadly even their dreams on hold, so they can get this source of irritation out of the way. Then, they wake up the next morning with their 83 problems topped up again”
“So what should I do?” the man asked. “When you accept that you will always have problems, they will shrink in significance and although the issues will still be there, you will view them as opportunities to grow and learn. Go forth my son. Embrace your problems and be thankful for they are opportunities to make you a better person”