Believe it or not, I think that’s a good thing.
I mean life would be pretty boring if we didn’t have a steady flow of issues to deal with, and if you think about it you’ll probably agree that much of our joy and self-respect comes from our ability to overcome problems.
The problem with problems, though, is that some of the solutions require us to do things that we just can’t do, and when we fail to sort something out we often wind up feeling a bit weak and unhappy.
One of those problems for me is technology; like cell phones, computers and TV remotes.
They drive me crazy and I really don’t enjoy having to wait for my daughter to come home from school so she can help me out or –heaven forbid – having to pay an expert to fix one of my electronic devices.
Unfortunately, more and more of our problems these days seem to be the kind we can’t fix by ourselves and I think that goes a long way in explaining why so many of us struggle with varying degrees of depression.
Once upon a time our main pursuits were finding food and keeping warm and dry, and when we did that we were happy.
All the other stuff like being loved or building a financial empire didn’t matter until three meals a day and a warm bed were an absolute certainty.
And even today, if we really want to experience happiness, all we have to do is survive a life threatening situation where all our other needs and worries disappear.
Actually, I don’t think it even needs to be life threatening.
Most all of us have been soaked in a cold rain or caught without enough to wear on a freezing night.
Sure its crap at the time but when we warm up and put on some dry clothes, that’s about as satisfied as we are ever going to be.
One solution would be for all of us to get back to a more basic way of life that would allow us to deal with physical problems that we could totally solve all by ourselves, but I realise that isn’t practical so I’m going to make another suggestion.
I think we should try to cut down on the number of things that are totally beyond our control.
That may seem like a complicated thing to do but I don’t think it is.
It just requires taking responsibility for our problems instead of looking for someone else to blame.
Sure, if we convince ourselves someone else is at fault we don’t have to feel bad about anything and we don’t have to worry about changing the way we act, but we also give up control over solving the problem.
When we find a fault in ourselves, however, we have a chance to sort something out.
So what if a problem really is totally someone else’s fault? Well, we just have to accept some things are beyond our control.
And how do we tell when that is the case…?
That’s a problem you’ll have to sort out for yourself.