I once saw a world full of problems.
It filled me with dread, and I wanted to escape.
Anything that could give me relief was good enough.
Since then, things have changed. I still have a life full of problems, but I no longer view them as such.
I don’t run away from problems. I accept them as a constant, like the air I breathe. At times it seems as if I’m living a problem-free life, because I’ve put on a new set of mental sunglasses.
It’s not about avoiding problems. That has never been the goal. It’s about learning to handle problems, obstacles, and challenges with ease.
Problems aren’t causing you trouble; you are using problems to cause yourself trouble.
A problem for you may not be a problem for your best friend. And a problem you had a year ago may not be a problem any longer, even if it is still present.
In 2004, I was 18. I was comfortable. I had money, but I didn’t have peace. Happiness was out of sight. I thought money would provide happiness, but it didn’t.
As time went on, I became frustrated with the endless search for happiness. People all around me were looking, but they weren’t happy.
I became frustrated, then impatient, and then curious. Why were some people happy, while others wallowed in their own misery?
Some were happy with little, while others were miserable with a lot. It tickled my brain, and I wanted to scratch that itch.
One of the first “secrets” to a problem-free life is adopting a new perspective. Problems do not need to be eliminated from your life, only from your mind.
When I began letting go of problems, more problems took their place. It was as futile as trying to shoo the air out of a room.
So, I stopped resisting problems. I’m still human, so I do resist from time to time, and I suffer for it.
I view problems as signposts. They point to something to be learned.
I’m not talking about avoiding problems, I’m talking about accepting them, and dealing with them.
The focus is on eliminating the mental turmoil that most people experience when they have problems. They make them bigger than they seem.
Like Stephen Heller Ph.D says in his book, Monsters and Magical Sticks: There is No Such Thing As Hypnosis: “Fear is for getting confidence.”
Fear is merely a reminder to get confident in a specific area in your life. Below is a video on how I dissolve problems by accepting them.
I knew about Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) when I was 18. I attended a 7-day NLP Practitioner Training when I was 20.
I had the tools for quick, dramatic change. I could eliminate problems, phobias, and fears, but I never used the tools I had.
I believed they didn’t work, so they didn’t.
I proved myself right, and allowed myself to be a victim of circumstance.
It took me a few years to reclaim responsibility. I knew I was at cause, but it wasn’t until recently that something clicked.
Earlier this year, three big “problems” occurred simultaneously. They caused me immense suffering. I spent several weeks lying in bed, trying to avoid it all, and mentally “figuring it out.”
I suffered for it.
Eventually I awoke to the fact that I knew how to be at peace.
I started using what I knew, and I started learning even more. I used NLP, EFT, Hypnotherapy, and meditation to my advantage.
The three problems went away almost as quickly as I took responsibility. These problems helped me move in the right direction.
I had been coasting in confusion up until that point.
3. Using Your Brain for a Change
In the book, Get the Life You Want, Richard Bandler, co-founder of NLP, talks about how our minds work and how you can make changes.
Your mind is like a highly sophisticated computer. You know how to be depressed, lonely, frustrated, happy, curious, and even inspired.
You’ve learned how to feel all of those different states, and each one of them requires a set of skills.
If someone is depressed, they are excellent at dismissing happy thoughts and focusing on the negative.
It’s a skill.
If you don’t sit in the driver’s seat of your life, someone else will do it for you, and you may not like where they take you.
With NLP, I learned how to change the patterns and programs inside of myself. I could take a painful memory, play it backwards, put in circus music, and change it.
It was like scratching a CD. Once it’s scratched, it just won’t run right again. I used to take my “problems” seriously, but now I know better.
4. Letting Go of the Old
Painful memories are a dime a dozen. Everyone has them.
Once I learned to use tools like EFT and NLP, I was able to release the emotional charge of my negative memories, and I even turn them into positive ones, if I so wished.
Our memories are plastic, which means that they are changing all the time. Memories aren’t rigid, inflexible things. They are constantly recreated. Each time you re-member something, you re-create it.
That is why as you learn and grow, some things stop bothering you. When you go back and re-member, it has changed, because you have changed.
Imagine how you would feel without all the baggage you’re carrying around from the past? All the hurts, abuses, traumas, and regrets just poof, gone.
It can be done.
Will it be easy? For some, not for others, but it’s all good.
It’s funny how we can get a 60-page instruction manual for a $19.95 watch, but no user’s manual for the brain.
Here’s another short video that will help you feel freer and happier:
5. Dealing With the New
I will always have problems.
But do they have to cause suffering? That is up to me.
I don’t have to lie awake at night worrying and turning in bed, unless I choose to do so. Sometimes it may seem like you have no choice, because your problems seem so big, but you always do.
And remember, the choice of not learning how to take control of your mind is still a choice. There is no way for you to blame someone else.
As you take more responsibility, you will start to get a taste of what I call “the problem-free life.”
It’s not a magical place. Nothing changes, except you.
People look for magic pills, quick fixes, and strange concoctions, but they do not exist, unless you create them.
The truth is so anti-climactic that no one tells you about it, because it cannot be sold in a bottle.
Living a problem-free life begins within you. There is nothing you need to do except make the decision.
The red pill, or the blue pill.
The choice is yours.