In Florida there’s a species of toad called the Bufo toad, a.k.a. cane toad. When they feel threatened, Bufo toads secrete a milky toxin that is poisonous to all dogs big or small (and cats) if they pick up the toad in their mouth, or bite/lick it. Bufo toads typically come out at night, especially after rain.
As I walk Buddha girl every night, I am constantly scanning the surrounding areas for these toads. They can be difficult to see because they blend into the grass. To be safe you need a flashlight so you can spot the Bufo toad before your dog does.
Now I’ve always loved the Apple iPhone as opposed to Androids because everything you need is already installed and it’s super easy to use. But for some reason, Apple stopped putting the flashlight app on their phones. Every flashlight app I’d get in the App Store, whether free or paid, would work great for 60 seconds then either shut off or turn into a strobe light.
I’m talking about 4 or 5 different flashlight apps, all with the same result! The app would work great for a minute, then turn off. When I’d try to turn it back on, it would start strobing or do nothing at all.
I can’t say I’ve invested a ton of time in my life searching the web and playing around with my phone. Yet I’ve put more time into this flashlight problem than I should need to, for such a simple thing.
I wouldn’t think about the flashlight app during the day but then I’d get annoyed every single night as I fought with the flashlight app while trying to scan the grass for Bufo toads. Subtle stressors (multiple flashlight apps that never work right) layered upon a bigger stressor (deadly toads that could kill my dog!) actually took up a tremendous amount of my energy–unnecessarily.
Then one day I had an epiphany, something truly innovative and groundbreaking. Why don’t I buy a really bright flashlight?
BOOM. I found a flashlight that is more of a portable flood light and doesn’t even need batteries, for less than $30. That flashlight is a fairly cheap and easy fix to a problem that has persisted for months. But now not only can I now better patrol the grass for Budda girl, I could likely provide light for my neighbor’s kitchen 100 yards away–should they ever need me to. 🙂
The battle I had with the many flashlight apps is the typical resist – persist scenario: when we fight something that is not working and thereby make the problem worse. Sometimes the problem gets worse because we make it worse by fighting it and other times the actual issue stays the same but the situation gets worse because we get more frustrated.
What You Resist, Persists
This bit of wisdom is so true because when we are resisting something, we are favoring our preferences over reality and we lose objectivity.
It’s common these days to scroll down your social media and see someone on a high horse telling you how you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. Shoot, you’d probably find me saying that somewhere.
When you’re on the outside of an issue, it’s easy to be objective and have clarity. Clarity is more difficult to achieve when stuck in the middle of it…
First world problems are seemingly unimportant things that do not go our way. As a result they annoy us to a point where we lose objectivity and allow these insignificant things to become bigger issues. The second we become present and put the thing into perspective, we realize how silly it is in the grand scheme of things.
It doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are, it’s likely you have problems that relative to you are either petty or pretty serious that would be non issues for someone else.
3 Tips to Find an Easy Fix
- Life does not unfold the way we want it to.
The more attached we are to our preferences and expectations, the more suffering we will experience.
- There is always a solution. ALWAYS.
There are the best possible outcome type solutions that can exist if allotted enough time & resources. Then there are alternative solutions that exist when we remove our emotions and objectively look at the situation to find the lowest hanging fruits we can grab that will bring a better result; in other words, finding a cheap and easy fix.
- History beats opinions.
Our opinions are heavily influenced by our emotions and our values. Whenever we are caught in our emotions, we will not see clearly. If we wholeheartedly believe in one side, a group or single person because something about it/him/her matches our highest values, it’s very hard to detach and view things objectively.Throughout the course of human history, there were civilizations that were able to incredibly serious problems that people of the time thought were hopeless. In your own history, there have been moments you thought were devastating until they no longer were; and now you can look back and laugh.
Today I’d like you to consider: What is a cheap and easy fix to one of your first world problems?
For example, most people I talk to say they need help with their nutrition. But if they had a gun to their head, they’d know exactly what to do to fix the nutrition issue.
When we focus on our own problems, we look through the lens of our perceptions. Now it’s arguable that there are no problems ever; nature is nature and that it’s only us humans that have problems because we are so attached to our preferences of how we want things to be. But that’s another discussion for another time.
The point here is that our problems are much bigger in our heads than they are in reality. The quicker you can become objective, the less of an issue your problems will be. The key is to remove layer upon layer of resistance until you find an actionable item you feel comfortable with taking. Once you take the action forward, you are out of problem territory and into solution land.
Back to the nutrition example: if that issue was accountability, keep asking yourself what is a cheap and easy fix to be more accountable to your nutrition, until you break it down so specifically that you can’t help but realize how you can easily add more accountability into your life.
What is a cheap and easy fix to one of your first world problems?
Joe Carabase is an Entrepreneur, Coach and Author. Check out his latest book here. You can follow @joecarabase on Instagram and Facebook for more inspiring content!
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