A service engineer in New York checked his email one evening and found a requisition from a company in Jacksonville, Florida. They wanted 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 did not 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. On the 19th day of the Happiness Challenge, let us 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, “Mummy, I need to confess. One month after I had been in the hostel, I made a mistake. I stole a $100 from my roommate and rented a motorcycle with that. Unfortunately, I had an accident and collided into a lamppost because of which my thighbone broke. But, mummy, there was nothing much to worry about because a handsome doctor living down the lane took me in his home and nursed me. And, mummy 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, mummy, none of this is true. The only thing that has happened is that 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 problem could have been far bigger.”
Watch this interesting video by Swami Mukundananda –
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 we climb a mountain, then how is the road going to be? Naturally, it is going to be uphill. Similarly, if we are progressing in life it is only to be expected that problems will come.
Consider a depiction in a cartoon. One man was changing the punctured wheel of his car. His little son was sitting inside and asking, “Daddy, why is this happening to us?” The father had responded, “Son, this is not a TV channel that we can switch —this is life.” So, difficulties and hardships will come. Let us learn to anticipate problems. It is said in boxing, that the punch that knocks one out is not the hardest one, but the one that was not anticipated. So, let us put our problem in its proper perspective, gather courage, and enhance our inner strength and face it bravely.
Today, let us take this as our homework. Think about the problems that we are facing — are they really as big as our mind is making them out to be? Let us put them in their place.