Let me tell you about the time my puppy, Skyla, almost died.
OK, that’s totally dramatic, but it was a pretty scary situation. Skyla’s our 3-year-old pit bull with a lot of energy. She’s all muscle and much heavier than she looks. That makes her a great runner and jumper.
But she’s a lousy swimmer.
Once while we were at the lake, Skyla chased a ball into the water and went completely under. And she wasn’t coming up.
My brave, wonderful husband charged into the lake to save her and almost broke his neck sliding down the embankment and into the chilly water. But before Chris could reach her, she popped her head out of the water and doggie paddled to shore, completely ignoring her almost-hero.
Skyla was safe and sound, but Chris had a big problem: his phone had been in his pocket when he went into the lake. Eep.
Chris’s phone was ruined, but something great came out of this problem. He wasn’t able to get a new phone from his carrier, but his employer offered to get him a new phone and take care of all the monthly charges. Our phone bill is now $50 cheaper.
I’m sure you’ve experienced problems that came at terrible times or really messed up your plans.
You may be dealing with something bigger than a waterlogged phone, but there’s still a bright side to your unfortunate situation.
In fact, here are 3 reasons why your problems are awesome.
You Become a Batman
No, I don’t mean you become a brooding vigilante who lurks on rooftops and stalks bad guys all while dressed like a giant flying rodent.
If you ARE doing this, you’ve got bigger problems than I can help you with.
I mean that it makes you a better detective. Hindsight is 20/20, and once you experience a negative result, you’ll be able to look back on all the little things that led up it and recognize the actions that caused the most harm.
In the future, you’ll look at your life through this filter and spot the red flags before they lead you to disaster.
For example, if your ex-partner cheated on you, then the next time you’re looking for a romantic relationship you’ll be able to recognize a distrustful person and know better than to get involved with that joker.
It’s your choice if you want to throw on a cape and beat the livin’ crap out of your ex too.
I won’t tell.
You Become More Compassionate
Think about a time in your life when you failed. It hurts, and we’ve all been there.
But here’s the thing: experiencing a failure doesn’t make YOU a failure.
When you don’t get what you want, you understand that you’re human and life isn’t perfect. This disappointment will make you more compassionate to other people who are hurting.
Let’s say your best friend doesn’t get the job she interviewed for. Are you going to tell her to suck it up and move on? No! You’ll comfort her and maybe take her out for margaritas because you understand what it’s like to experience a setback.
You Become Stronger
Problems suck. There’s no getting around it.
It sucks when you’re fired, it sucks when your car won’t start, it sucks when you’re broke, it sucks when your loved ones die, and it sucks when you’ve experienced abuse.
I’m living proof that overcoming life’s problems makes you stronger. And so are you.
It might not always seem like it, but every time you decide to keep moving, to look for solutions, and to fight back, you are becoming a more resilient person.
Life editing isn’t about eliminating problems. It’s about making the most out of what you’ve got…problems and all.
And sometimes becoming a stronger person is about knowing when to ask for help. I care about you, and you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk.
What problem are you dealing with today?
In the comments below, share the awesome things you’re learning from your problems.
This post focuses on Step 1 of the Life Editing Process, Create a Foundation. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.