A few weeks ago I went to an event with my company. Being a startup with limited funds, we opted to forgo purchasing a ticket for each person. A couple of half-truths were all it took for me to get through the doors. After 9 hours of networking, pitching my company, and going to town on the free lunch, I was approached by security and asked to leave.
From the organizer’s perspective I was a problem because I didn’t pay for the experience that I received. Although it is true that I received for free what others paid for, there are multiple ways to look at a problem. Despite the connotation that suggests all problems are bad, they in fact can be good. The key to understanding the difference between good problems and bad problems is changing your perspective.
What the organizers failed to see is that I, as well as the many other people who didn’t pay to get in, were so excited about this event that they would do anything just to be there. Having people that excited to attend an event isn’t a bad problem if you ask me.
Determining whether a problem is good or bad largely is based on distinguishing between content and context. For example if someone gave you a million dollars in ones, you would have a problem on your hands. What are you going to do with all that cash? Transporting that amount of cash could be a logistical nightmare to transport. That’s the content of the problem. Who has ever complained about getting a million dollars? That’s the context of the problem.
Tomorrow, if you encounter a problem, take a moment to reflect upon it. Understand the “whats” of the problem as well as the “whys” and take both into consideration. When you are able to distinguish between good problems and bad problems you can focus on solving the bad ones. Working smarter, not harder, is the key to living life deliberately.
The Simple Life is an ongoing series penned by Chris Wyman. Chris is a modern day renaissance man not satisfied with being second best or afraid of taking on a new venture or challenge…especially after a breakfast of bacon and eggs.