Sometimes, strange as it may seem, we can actually find ourselves relieved to have a giant problem in front of us. Despite the difficulties it presents, it also tends to clear away the smaller stuff. All of our focus shifts to the One Big Thing and smaller issues fall away.
If your car engine explodes in your driveway and your entire car starts burning, you have a big problem. But for the duration of that problem, you’re not worried about whether you watered the petunias today or got around to replacing that light bulb in the basement. You aren’t worried about whether you’ll make bonus this year or if you’re calling your mother frequently enough. You’re just, you know, pretty focused on the inferno in your driveway.
Of course, the Big Problem didn’t solve the smaller ones – it just shifted your focus. Those problems are still there. When the fire dies down and you’ve filed the insurance claim and removed the flaming wreckage from your property and everything else is taken care of, all those other issues will get bigger again.
Except… maybe not all of them.
Once you’ve solved a big problem, you have a good opportunity in front of you. Your mind is still “focused big,” and your thoughts haven’t yet re-aligned with the smaller scale of those other problems. Viewed from that lofty height, consider: what isn’t actually that important? What problems would you just not go back to?
What parts of your life aren’t worth the headache? Maybe you hate those petunias. Maybe you don’t really care about making bonus; in fact, maybe you don’t even like that job.
We do so many things because we’ve always done them. Inertia is a powerful force. Once something has shaken you out of your comfort zone, don’t go happily back to it. If your car insurance writes you a check for the car you lost, there’s no rule that says you have to buy the exact same make and model again. Now is a good time to evaluate what you really want.
Sometimes life kicks over your sand castle, and that sucks. But in exchange you get freedom, the ability to build anew. It still sucks that your life was disrupted – but this view can definitely make it suck a little less.