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Thread: See problems as an Alchemist

  1. #1

    Default See problems as an Alchemist

    I'd like to present a philosophy that I've been thinking about for a while.
    It's based on books and other material that I've been reading over the past months.
    It's about managing your problems. Let me hear what you think of it.
    (Sorry for the looooong post)

    One common thing for all humans in this world is that we all face problems during our life.
    Everyone of us has challenges, as a matter of fact; to be human, is to face problems.
    Really, the only people that have no problems, the only people who're not struggling with something... are dead.
    And we all face different problems. Some might be struggling with economic issues, others with health issues, some people might be struggling with a loss this very moment, young people are struggling with school and older individuals do the same at work. Or problems in our relationships/families!
    Every single one of us faces challenges in one form or another.

    But why is that?
    Well I've been thinking and reading my books, and I like to think that it's because problems are gifts, and they come to us to help us grow.
    I believe that it's the way that life is setup. We grow through problems!
    Problems are like teachers, and if we look for the lessons within them, they can actually serve us and make us even better.

    One of my favorite authors and life-philosophers, Robin Sharma, who also has written allot of the books and other media of which I include in this text, once read a very good line that really helped him when it came to dealing with problems. The line was a simple yet effective one:

    "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from mistakes. And mistakes comes from bad judgement."

    In other words, the bad judgement that may have created problems you're experiencing, will ultimately lead to good judgement.

    I don't believe that the goal in life is to avoid problems. That's impossible, magical thinking and unrealistic.
    I believe that the goal in life, the goal of a highly evolved human being, is to manage your problems. And to realize that they're just a part of life. And to resist them, is to resist an essential part of life itself.

    Robin Sharma takes the example of a metaphor used by a philosopher (name unknown).
    This philosopher said that life is like a river, and the river has two banks. The bank of joy... and the bank of sorrow.
    And as we move down this river, we're gonna bump up against both banks from time to time. In other words, we're gonna experience, victory, joy and happiness and good times. And each of us will also experience setbacks, failures and problems and bad/tough times.
    This wise philosopher said:
    The key is not to avoid bumping against each bank. The key is really, not to get stuck on either bank to long.

    So here's five ideas that I've read about from Robin Sharma's books, that I think is a great way to face your problems.
    The ideas are as he also says, simple. But they really work for you. I believe they have started to work for me.

    1. "Embrace problems as opportunities to get better."
    In allot of ways, the basic idea to deal with problems is to adjust your mindset. Short put, Change the way you see problems!
    Beliefs are like self fulfilling prophecies. If we think that a problem is a negative thing, it's also gonna affect the way we act around that problem, and our actions is gonna determine our results.
    But if we see problems as a gift! If we ask ourselves;
    What's the lesson here? What's the gift here? Why did this come to me and how can use this setback to serve me and make me even better?
    That way, we'll be able to get the best of our problems, and use them to our advantage.
    And here comes the idea that the topic title refers to:

    See yourself as an ALCHEMIST!
    You know, alchemists are individuals, who among other things have the ability to turn led into gold.
    Sharma says "I've realized that the most successful and fulfilled people in this world, are alchemists."
    What they do is that they see led, they see a problem, they see a setback.
    But rather than allowing it to bring them down, they say, how can I use this to make me even better? How can I turn this led into gold? How can I use this problem as an opportunity.
    They transform their setbacks in the stepping stones and transform their wounds into wisdom.
    So embrace problems as opportunities to get better. Look for the lessons and look for the gifts and see problems as teachers, so that they elevate you into you next level as a human being.

    Myself, in many ways I'm the person I am today because of my most difficult experiences. Before, I looked back on these experiences with anger and with sadness. But now, I try too look back at them with happiness and thankfulness. Because what they really have done, is to teach me things. When i've felt the greatest pain, it has actually taught me things such as understanding, forgiveness, love, compassion, wisdom and kindness.
    Our experiences shapes us and our history.
    I try my best to be thankful for the events in my past, no matter how hard they might have been. Maybe, I wouldn't have been the same person today, if it weren't for them.
    So embrace problems as opportunities to get better.

    2. "Keep perspective!"
    I think many of us recognize this one. all to often we take a problem that might not be that big, and we make it into this GIANT thing that frustrates us, limit us and that makes us sad or angry.
    Robin Sharma shares a few questions that he uses with his clients to ask themselves when they face problems:

    -How can this have been worse?
    Really, an excellent questions to ask yourself when facing a setback don't you agree?
    -Will this problem matter a year from now? (or even just a month)
    And if it won't, then why worry about it?
    Here's a good point: Why even call it a problem? Call it a challenge instead! Because words you use can determine the way you proceed a situation.
    Language is powerful. Language in many ways is a framework for viewing or proceeding a situation.
    So drop the words like problems! Instead, use words like challenge!
    Problems sound negative right? And are often associated with negative things. How about challenge? Sounds more exiting and positive to me!

    3. "Remain proactive and don't play victim"
    When a setback, tough times or disappointment shows up in your life ask:
    What can I do today, to get out of this situation?
    The following statement I got from a piece of Viktor Frankl's (a man who survived nazi-camps during the holocaust) book "Man's search for Meaning"
    Even in the most difficult situations we still have choices. That's one of our most fundamental human gifts and essential human power!
    Try to remind yourself, I can make choices here to influence the situation.
    And remember:
    Nothing changes, until you first move!
    To thin otherwise, is quite the fools errand.
    To do the same things over again, and expect a different result.

    4. "Self management emits difficult times."
    Also something you might recognize.
    All too often when bad times occur, we fall apart. We become negative and slip on our best practices. It might be eating good, reading books, do things that are fun to us, go outside... You now the drill.
    When this is happening, self management is more important than ever I think, and I've been told so many times.
    So when you're facing problems, those are the very times you need to get out and run or walk in nature. Get into the gym, get fresh air, read a good book or kick back with a fun and thrilling video game if you so like, eat a healthy meal or read inspirational books or biographies of people who've triumphed over difficult times. Gandhi, Nelson Mandela to name two.
    So care for yourself when you're experiencing problems, it's important. Don't fall down into the dirt. And should you do? Well, why do we fall? To stand up again! When you've reached the bottom, there's only one way to go. And that is up.
    "Fall down seven, stand up eight." - Ancient Chinese saying.

    5. "Resolve to win"
    Nothing can keep a good person down. The greatest amongst us have an ability and we ALL have this ability; to get tougher when we face hard times.
    To see it as a challenge and to say, I'm not gonna let this issue keep me down! Unleash your warrior, your fighting spirit within! Be offensive!
    And tell yourself, I can make a difference, no matter what my external circumstances today look like.

    So as a summary, we can actually choose to see problems as gifts that will make us and our lives even better.
    Be an Alchemist.

    What do you think of this philosophy? I'd love to get some feedback on it, but I can't take credit for everything in the text. Allot of it comes from things I've read or heard from others. But that makes me kinda happy, because writing this kind of proves that I've taken in the things I've read and heard. And sharing them with others adds to that too.

    Finally I should add: I'm human too. I'm not saying that I'm a person who don't feel down because of problems or setbacks. In fact, I hate them! ^^
    But I'm working on it, and this has taught me a whole new perspective.

    I hope this may be of use for you, and lets discuss around it! Maybe we can apply it to challenges within the AB/DL lifestyle?

    Best wishes.

    //Lilpaws G. Husky
    Last edited by LilpawsGHuskypup; 25-Feb-2010 at 21:59. Reason: grammar and such

  2. #2


    A lot of people in this world would benefit from printing out your post and reading it every morning of their life before going through their day. I completely agree with any single word you said, but I could never explain it any better than you did.

    I've been exploring these concepts with many friends of mine, over the years, when they were feeling demotivated and needed support, and I sometimes ask myself if I'm the one who's wrong for being so positive about everything.

    After all, it's not difficult to understand, it can be summarized in one short concept: in anything we do, we can choose to be positive, or to be negative. And since the choice is up to us, why the hell would anyone purposedly choose not to be positive?

    Damn, I should become a leadership trainer and make a huge lot of money out of it!!

  3. #3


    Thanks Quattrus, I'm glad you found it an interesting read!

    After all, it's not difficult to understand, it can be summarized in one short concept: in anything we do, we can choose to be positive, or to be negative. And since the choice is up to us, why the hell would anyone purposedly choose not to be positive?
    Yeah! Precisely!

    Damn, I should become a leadership trainer and make a huge lot of money out of it!!
    Hey! That's my dream! Have you been reading my journal?

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by LilpawsGHuskypup View Post
    I'm glad you found it an interesting read!
    But it seems I've been the only one so far...

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by quattrus View Post
    But it seems I've been the only one so far...
    No, I read it yesterday, just was to lazy to post at the time.
    I do like this philosophy of yours, it rises an excellent point.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by quattrus View Post
    But it seems I've been the only one so far...
    Well, now Thisusernamewontfit answered too.
    To tell the truth, I was kinda disappointed over the lack of replies. I wanted some discussion.
    Still, I can't force anyone to reply, and I see that at least this topic had plenty of views.

    Thisusernamewontfit, glad you liked it too. Sure changes perspective on a few things, right? ^^
    I have more in depth theories, on subjects such as fear and weirdness.
    I intend to post them when I have the time.

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