Are you Problem- or Opportunity-Minded?


There are people who see the problem in every opportunity and others who see opportunity in every problem.

Which one are you?

Here’s the challenge with problem-in-every-opportunity thinking: We become blind to the possibilities the problem presents when we are geared to seeing only, or even primarily, the problem. Then every problem is calcified into nothing more than the difficulty and inconvenience and pain the problem creates.

It’s what happens when we focus so hard on the dirt of life that we miss what’s actually growing out of it or shining down on top of it.


Relationship problems become broken friendships and broken marriages. Insurmountable. Permanent.

Death in the family becomes painful emptiness, meaningless isolation, endless remorse, stuck in the tragedy, trapped in the loss, understood only as permanent subtraction.

The loss of employment calcifies into hopelessness, helplessness, and disillusionment, loss of identity and self-worth, frozen in the immobility of self-doubt.


But opportunity-in-every-problem thinking opens us to see avenues made available by the difficulty the problem presents. It widens our scope of vision and keeps our eyes open, our minds attentive, looking for ways the problem can be transformed.

Then relationship difficulties become ways to think creatively about improving matters or re-prioritizing time and attention or learning new ways to communicate, or, if needs be, learning from the breakup to do better next time–a springboard to better futures.

Death of loved ones still hurts, of course, but also becomes an opportunity to reconnect with family, feel gratitude for what was had, ponder the eternities, motivate changes to lifestyle and inspire interest in spiritual matters.

Job loss turns into the reevaluation of passions and prospects, time to rethink life trajectories, taking stock of skills, motivation to learn, improve abilities, reeducate, pursue creative new ventures, online opportunities, new untraditional, novel or unconventional ways of earning revenue. It becomes a time of great introspection and creativity and preparation for something else, perhaps something infinitely better, or something that will eventually become so.

You Choose: Mud or Rainbows?

The difference in the way life is led is profound. Try it. You’ll see what I mean. One promotes anger, misery and pain, or at least frustration, fear, and cynicism. The other inspires growth, insight and happiness.

Besides, looking down all the time at the mud of life is simply not as fun or interesting or inspiring as looking up at the sun-filled possibilities that things like rainbows and sunrises represent.

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Are you opportunity or problem minded?

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