My problems are bigger than yours. You know how I know that for certain, because everybody’s problems are bigger than everybody else’s. Regardless of the situation, or the number of zeros attached to your set of challenges, if they are more than you feel you can handle, you will feel overwhelmed. It’s easy for me to feel my problems are bigger than yours. In just the last few weeks I’ve had people steal from me, both externally (really hard) and internally (even harder), I’ve had to terminate teammates I like, and had people I like even more resign. My pool heater broke, for the third time in five years, and needed replacing yet again. I greeted a great customer walking into our retail store, only to have him tell me all his prized fish had been eaten by a predator. Personally I threw out my back (geez am I really getting old?) and at home we have extended family living with us, which actually I don’t mind, but most people would. I could go on and on but I know it wouldn’t matter, in the end I know your problems are bigger than mine.
But just when I felt things couldn’t get any worse, the Chicago Blackhawks unexpectedly scored two goals in 17 seconds to come from behind and win their second Stanley Cup in four years. Woohoo! The next day I awoke with a little more spring in my step. And then something truly amazing happened.
Yesterday, I had lunch with a man I had met for the first time a little over a year ago. When I met him, he was going through the hardest thing he had ever had to go through. I was in a position to help him, and I did. Last week he asked if I could meet him and hence the lunch date. Walking into it I had a sour grape attitude, some problems with a customer group that had been playing out all over social media. Lovely. That’s when he told me if it wasn’t for the help I was in a position to provide him; he doesn’t know where he would be today. “Wow, thanks for that, pretty cool to know I could help” I said. He then went on to explain his situation had turned 180 degrees and his business was booming! He proceeded to pull out a check made out to the Aquascape Foundation, for one of the largest amounts we’ve ever received! I was shocked, we both got choked-up, and my faith in humanity was restored. But something even greater happened too. I was reaffirmed, once again, that no problem is insurmountable. My problems, albeit as overwhelming as they are to me today, have answers that may come tomorrow, or the next. Think about that, when you like me are wallowing in self-pity, defeatism, or anger at the dilemmas life has cast upon you. And pray for big problems or better yet being bigger than the problems you have. If your prayers are answered you might just find you’re blessed with handling bigger and bigger problems, and also earning the satisfaction that comes from whipping them! Carpe Diem