Day 55 Lesson – There are no problems, only situations
Good morning, everybody; I hope you’re doing well.
We’re already well into January and the days seem to be going quickly. Each year, there’s a theme used for quotes with a general focus for all the people connected to Mohanji. For this year, 2021, Mohanji provided some guidance for the theme of the year, which is flexibility, stability, and friendship, which I think is apt.
Flexibility, as we are in very unpredictable times, we don’t know what will happen in the future; having that quality of flexibility will give us a good footing to handle anything that comes and even learn new skills.
Stability is important, as it’s just like when the air stewardess tells us to put on an oxygen mask first before putting it on somebody else. Our own stability is important for being able to be there for others, be stable for others and help them.
Friendship, at this time, is developing connections, deepening friendships, practising kindness.
I was thinking about these this morning and was reminded of how Mohanji approaches situations of life, how he handles all the various troubles, queries, problems, and events that come to him. There are so many of them each day, as often things don’t go on as planned, which means there has to be action, or corrective measures, or things like this because we have a huge organization, which he’s guiding and steering.
I’ve always found that Mohanji is really very cool in these situations. Whatever comes, he’ll take it on its merits, and he’ll handle it however best it needs to be handled – with minimal fuss or fanfare.
I asked him about this one day; how does he manage to do this? He summed it up succinctly, which I think I want to build on today: there are no problems in life. There are only situations, and problems only exist in the mind. This simple yet profound thought is worth contemplating for many of us; I definitely, as earlier I used to think I have a lot of problems in life.
The statement, “There are no problems in life, there are only situations; problems only exist in mind”, gives so much freedom. When I heard that, I intuitively knew that I’m looking at things maybe in a different way than what I could do. This was a very powerful orientation for me because often, I would get caught up in the middle of my mind’s mess with all the perceived problems that I thought existed.
For example, if I plan to complete some work, or if I had entrusted it to somebody else and it didn’t come back in time, or there was a delay, or it wasn’t quite right, or something else happened which would stop what I wanted to happen, or planned to happen; my mind would jump to a narrative of – “This is a problem. How could this happen? Why is this the case?” All these types of questions would gush forth.
This type of thinking was doing nothing to really help and what I understood from Mohanji’s words is that life will always present us with situations, and sometimes why they happen; we don’t even know. There’ll be a cause, but we might not be aware of it at that time.
But the fact is, something comes to us as a situation, and my ability to respond to the situation will decide if it’s a problem or not. For example, if I thought I completed what I needed to do for the day and was about to relax, and something urgent arrived. If I’m constantly thinking about my expectation of what I’d be doing next, relaxing over doing what needed to be done, then I’m creating a problem for myself.
So now I’m learning to approach life like this, that there are only situations. What comes to me, and what comes to us, we handle it as it is. I now look at the whole situation (width, breadth, height – in totality) to see what can be done with what’s available and have found the intensity of the events reduces, bringing stability. I know now that if there’s a situation, then there will also be a solution. I don’t need to create more disturbances in my mind and problems because of that. The result is there’s more calmness, or reduced intensity, and clarity. I can better see the situation for what it is; hence I’m not pushed into automatic ways of responding (as I’d usually do).
You can objectively look at the situation, assess it, think about it, and often, the solution will automatically present itself. At times the solution can also be something novel or unique, something I would never have normally thought of, which also brings in that element of flexibility.
This is something I’m continuing to learn, that when I avoid turning life situations into problems, I’m learning that I’m calmer, stable, and have better decision-making ability.
I hope you have a great day and that you can sail through any of the situations which might come your way. We will speak soon.