“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
— John Lewis
While I was training at the Zen monastery, I had the good fortune of being gifted a program called Landmark Forum. I met some really great people during the weekend seminar. One was a young man my age who had done “The Forum” before and was volunteering to facilitate this one. We were walking toward a restaurant he recommended during one of our breaks and our conversation was about problems. He said, in Landmark, they suggest you “pick problems worthy of your attention.”
That caught my attention, so I asked him to explain this a bit to me. What did he mean?
He said, “So often in life, we pick problems that are such a complete waste of time and energy. They cause us stress, disappointment, and leave us drained at the end of the day. These problems will cause us to focus on how we don’t like this person or how we feel stuck in that situation.” He said, “Instead of choosing those easy, habitual problems handed over to us, it would be much better to choose a problem worthy of our attention. A problem that is completely engrossing and robs us of our ability to have any of those lesser problems.”
He told me the “problem” he picked was getting married and starting a family. But he said it could be anything that created good in the world. Volunteering at a shelter, starting a business to make an impact, committing to a non-profit, organizing an event, taking on world hunger…
“…you name it…as long as it gives you no attention left over for any of those lesser problems.”
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Originally published at www.zenlife.coach.
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