“Some are young people who don’t know who they are, what they can be or even want to be. They are afraid, but they don’t know of what. They are angry, but they don’t know at whom. They are rejected and they don’t know why. All they want is to be somebody. ”
― Pathways To Perfection: Discourses Of Thomas S. Monson
I am not trying to solve anyone else’s problems, really. It begins with me. Solving my own problems is the debt I have the honor of paying and it has an upside to it. Solving my own problems and doing it publicly builds trust in myself and influence among others. Eventually it provides leadership in this big ol’ world. So let your little light shine!
Don’t believe me? Conquer your own problems and watch who notices.
This year I am upping my game as an “emerging adult” with an ambitious attitude to own my own greatness (and thereby failures). The big question I invite each of you to ask yourself daily is what problem do you really need to solve?
I used to say, without thinking, procrastination. I hear it still from dozens of students, esp. here in the U.S.. But it’s not what you think, people. In fact, you’re not even thinking. You’re thoughting. Saying what you think you should say or repeating what others expect you to say. That’s not thinking. And, if we were truly honest with ourselves (hold on…truth-telling moment… incoming) we already know how to solve that one! As a Ukrainian student I loved once said in her thick accent to another student who didn’t get it, “Aye know why you diddent call hur. Because you diddent want to do tha wurk!!” Brilliant! He didn’t like what she had to say but the truth always hurts.
As Baumeister and Tierney write in their fabulously practical book Willpower,
“The best way to reduce stress in your life is to stop screwing up” (2011, 238).
We don’t want to do the work. Start with that as fact and then perhaps ask the question. What problem do I really need to solve in that? That’s a problem to seriously think about and consider. Maybe you’re not doing the right kind of work or there are other kinds of work that would move you, even agitate you, into action. What works for me is not your answer. Find you own!
The question “What is your problem?” might occur very differently if you give yourself time to study, think and plan. You need clarity, space and 20-30 mins a day to start! You cannot own your own greatness by using other people’s answers or questions. Find your own!