March 14, 2007.
"The difference between a mountain and a molehill is your perspective."
We've all heard the expression 'making a mountain out of a molehill' before. This saying typically refers to people who regularly blow things way out of proportion, turning even the smallest obstacles into insurmountable hurdles. By making things much more difficult than they really are, these folks end up making their lives a lot more complicated and complex.
Truth be told, most of us have become quite adept at making our own mountains. Instead of tackling any and all problems when they first appear, we too often allow issues to hang around and fester. With each passing day, these unaddressed problems become bigger, stronger and more troublesome. Then before we know it, we have a real mess on our hands.
"All problems become smaller if you don't dodge them, but confront them."
William F. Halsey
Isn't it strange how a small, fairly insignificant problem can grow into a real humdinger of a problem over time? Putting a problem off until a later date actually allows the problem to gain strength, gain size and ultimately gain control of your life. And worrying about the problem isn't going to make it any better. Worrying is kind of like a rocking chair - it gives you something to do but doesn't get you much of anywhere at all.
Problems, big and small alike, have a way of kind of sneaking up on you. When you think about it, just about every bad habit you've ever acquired in your lifetime probably started off as something rather trivial in nature. A day at a time, a week at a time, the habit almost imperceptibly placed a vise grip stranglehold all around you. Then, before you knew you had the habit, the habit had you.
"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves."
Sir Edmund Hillary
The same principle holds true with virtually every problem you'll ever face. The sooner you attack the problem, the less trouble you'll have in overcoming it. The longer you let it go, the bigger it can become.
But what about those big time problems we all face from time to time? Not the pint-sized problems we easily surmount daily, but those BIGGER THAN BIG, mountain-sized whoppers that loom larger than life?
Regardless of whether the big problem is one that started out small and grew much larger or one that's just plain big in the first place, the key to conquering the problem is one and the same. You've got to break the mountain down a pebble, a rock and a clump of dirt at a time. Find out what's causing the ruckus and then start working at stopping it.
"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem."
Just like the warning on your rear view mirror, some objects appear larger than they really are. In fact, almost every problem you'll ever encounter is nowhere near as big as it appears at first. Always remember any problem - regardless of size or scope - can be toppled a step at a time.
Instead of peering up at the problem and gasping at its sheer enormity, why not focus on something much smaller; something you can do about the problem right now? Then do it! Not sooner or later, but right this very minute. Then find another thing that can knock a dent in the problem... and then another. Then keep on working until the problem has been eliminated.
"Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them."
By consistently chipping away at the problem, removing one impediment at a time, you immediately begin loosening the problem's grip on you. Just like removing rocks from the mountain, you begin to wear away at the problem's core. The more you take away, the weaker and weaker the problem becomes. Then, before you know it, you will have worn the problem completely away. You will have taken the mountain and made it a molehill.
The world is full of all sorts of problems. As a matter of fact, there will never be a shortage of problems out there; but there will always be a scarcity of problem solvers. Decide today to become a problem solver. Then the next time a problem gets in your way, do something about. Don't ignore it or put it off until later. Find a way to deal with the problem and then deal with it right now. Bang away until you knock it down to molehill size, stomp it into the ground and get on down the road.
The Bottom Line: Instead of giving your problems power, power through your problems.
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