“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” – Albert Einstein
I am sure after reading the title and the opening quote, you are wondering where I could possibly be going with this, but if you have read anything else I’ve written, you know to fasten your seatbelt and prepare for an interesting tour. I love how Einstein put his thoughts into words, and have to agree with him on this one; it is so true, isn’t it? We create a number of problems for ourselves with our thinking. If we reverse this quote, then I would venture to say that we cannot create problems if we “raise the bar” so to speak, and begin to focus on the positive outcome we seek in our lives.
Have you ever noticed that things go wrong when you’re already having a bad day? Perhaps this pattern hasn’t presented in your life, or you are not aware of it. Some people create chaos everywhere they go, and when I stand on the sidelines observing, I can see that perhaps they need chaos and problems they create because it keeps them from dealing with some other issue or situation in life. Some people over-schedule and have to move at break-neck speed every waking moment. This, of course, keeps them so busy, exhausted and scattered that they cannot possibly take a moment to assess and change the beast of a life they’ve created. If you or someone you know lives in this space, read on.
I believe, looking in the rearview mirror of my own life, that I created chaos and drama in order to avoid dealing with my life situations. I also concentrated on what others had going on, analyzed their actions and came up with intricate theories as to why they were living the drama they were. Of course, my life was a mess and I was functioning in survival mode in a daily hell. Yes, that sounds dramatic, but I’ll take the credit and own it. I created that hell by allowing things to happen, by believing that stuff always “happened to me” and by thinking that if one thing was going to go bad, then surely I would need to go ahead and toss the baby out with the bath water.
Boy am I glad to have changed that and re-claimed my life! If you are tired of feeling like there is always a problem, always something going wrong, then you are reading the right blog today. Let’s re-read the quote: “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” If you have a chaotic life and problems that need solving, you need to first change your thinking. It’s not that hard. Last week I asked you to take a deep breath before reacting. Today, I’m asking you to stop, drop and roll, only there’s no fire.
Stop. When you are confronted with a problem, stop what you are doing, take a breath and try to step back from it for a moment. Just observe. Try not to judge, try not to analyze, just observe. Roll your shoulders a few times, relax your neck and try to release any tension your body has automatically created.
Drop. Drop what you are doing (figuratively, please) and be still. Try to listen to the sounds around you, be aware of what is taking place, and take in the information with your eyes. If you are stressed by your problems, you will need to focus on your breathing, slow it down, and get control of yourself. Inhale for a count of five, hold for one second, and exhale for a count of six. Do this at least five times until you have calmed your thoughts, your heart and possibly even lowered your blood pressure. When you take a minute or two to regain focus, you will have better perspective, and will be better equipped to handle the issue at hand.
(Let it) Roll. We could all use a dose of this medicine, and it is very sweet and delicious. Let it roll. After you’ve stopped and dropped, you can now let it roll. Let the worry wash away with each exhale. Breathe in and say, “Let” and exhale saying, “Go.” You will start to feel some relief immediately, and as time goes on, you will make this your go-to rather than panic, bath-water-tossing, world-coming-to-an-end despair.
Once you have found a way to stop the knee-jerk trigger and change your reaction to the situation at hand, you can tackle the problem. As Einstein said, we cannot solve the problem with the same thinking that created it. You have stopped, dropped and rolled your way to changed thinking. Once you re-set and get your mind, emotions and blood pressure in-check, you have already changed your thinking. Every problem has a practical solution; you just need the right mindset to create it.
You see, just as we can choose a color palette for decorating a room, we can create problems for ourselves. Along those lines, if we can create beauty and problems, why not choose to create more beauty? When we change the way we see things and our reactions to life’s ups and downs, we give ourselves access to the good life. I do not necessarily believe that thinking positively means that we will never have a bad day, or that things will not “happen” to us. I do believe, however, that when we embrace a positive outlook and use the tools in our possession to create, build and paint a beautiful picture, we will live the good life.
I wish you continued growth, enhanced color on your already beautiful palette, and know that you are fully capable of achieving the success, love and happiness you deserve.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.