When difficult things happen, people often lump all of them into trials or bad things happening. But the truth is often much more complicated than that.

Too often, we reap consequences that are difficult.

Those consequences are the result of something we did.

That’s not a trial.

That’s life.

If I blow all of my money on racing equipment, I’m not going through a trial when I can’t buy groceries, I’m living with a consequence.

This distinction is important because it sets up our mindset for how we are going approach the difficulty. It drives our assumptions about the problem. It moves the difficulty from something that happened to us to something that we did.

That’s actually good news, if we talk a hold of it.

We don’t have to repeat the process. We don’t have to follow that choice up with other bad choices.

We can make different choices.

Too many people mope about the terrible trial they’re in, when in reality they are living in the situation they created. There’s a difference in life handing me lemons and me running through the orchard grabbing lemons and then complaining that I have lemons and not oranges.

The next time life is hard and you’re tempted to lump it into the trials or life is hard box, ask yourself some of the following questions.

  1. Did I create this problem?
  2. If not, what did I do that did contribute to it?
  3. How do I move forward from this problem?

These questions will help you to be empowered to create real change in your life. They will keep you from getting stuck in a problem.

What strategies have you found to be helpful when you encounter a problem? Tell me in the comments.

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