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Be Grateful For Your Problems; Be VERY Grateful

By: Brian Kim - December 27, 2006

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So often people cry out at life wondering why they have been cursed. Why no opportunities have been given to them. Why they must continue to lead the lives they so desperately want to change. The truth of the matter is, the opportunities that they’ve been seeking have always been there; only in the unrecognizable form of their problems.

Life has handed us numerous opportunities on a silver platter covered in the finest gift wrapping paper with a nice bow tie and a bright red cherry on top of it to boot. The problem is that these opportunities reside inside an ugly, torn up cardboard box labeled as “Problems”. Our job is to open that box and take out the treasures that lie within. What treasures can we find? We will always without a shadow of a doubt find these two treasures inside.

1. Leverage to Change. 2. Personal Responsibility.

Here’s the best part. The bigger the problem, the bigger the box, the bigger the treasures are inside.

As we read stories of those who have initiated remarkable change within their lives, we begin to realize that the instigation of that change always lied within a problem, and a big problem at that. One example that comes to mind is Tony Robbins. You probably know him as the motivational guru you see late at night on infomercials. If memory serves me correct, Tony Robbins was working as a janitor and living in a studio apartment by the beach. One day while washing his dishes in his bathtub, he had that moment. What was that moment? He was sick and tired of all the problems in his life. He was overweight, depressed, not making enough money, unhappy, etc., so he ran out of his apartment and ran on the beach as fast as he could for as long as he could, till he could run no more. He let it all out on his run.

When he came back, he wrote down everything in his life that he would not stand for and then wrote down everything he wanted to achieve. On that day, he made up in his mind that it was up to him and him alone to change his life and that realization coupled with his leverage to change initiated the domino effect to where he is today. That was the spark that started the wildfire. So often people try to find that spark outside themselves. That spark must be found within. YOU have to reach down deep inside and pull that spark out of you and the easiest way to do that is use your gift of problems. Problems give us unimaginable potential for training and growth in life. When we resolve to solve these problems rather than become weighed down by them, we effectively enroll ourselves in the University of Life. There are no books, no classes, and no professors in the University of Life. You are the professor. You are the student. You must search for the books. You must search for the classes. You must seek out whatever you need to solve this problem and what will happen is that you’ll find you are perfectly capable of doing it. Why? You have the leverage which gives you the resolve to solve the problem and you have embraced that all powerful notion of personal responsibility. You have the desire to change and you know that it’s all up to you to do it. If you give your full trust to somebody to complete a task, they will feel empowered to do it. Similarly, if you give your full trust to yourself by embracing this powerful notion of personal responsibility, you will feel empowered and that power combined with your leverage to change is the formula for the beginning of the solution to your problem.

The leverage to change is something that cannot be bought. It is a huge factor in the catalyst of change because it gives you that all important ingredient to the start of any change. Not belief, not action, not persistence, but desire. White hot desire like the temperature in the center of our sun. Who is more likely to win a boxing heavyweight championship match? The reigning champion or the challenger who has been dreaming of the opportunity to fight for the title from day one? The challenger who has shed blood and tears training in the gym to the wee hours of the night, studying the footage of his opponent, and imagining the victory every time he breathed or the champion who has lost his desire because he achieved his goal? The edge goes to this challenger without a shadow of a doubt. Why? He has the leverage. He has the hunger to win and he knows it’s up to him to do achieve it. Nobody else. Nobody else can step into that ring for him. Only him.

When the fingers stop pointing outward from yourself and slowly start to turn 180 degrees and point inward, you know from that moment on your life has changed. You’ve crossed the bridge. There’s no going back. When a person is first hit with this realization, that everything lies upon him, that he and he alone inevitably brought everything into his life, the typical response is one of overwhelming despair, of depression, of hopelessness, but in the blackness of that despair, a ray of bright white light will pierce through it and he will dawn upon the empowering realization that if he was the cause of everything in his life, he is also the cause of all future change within his life. When that realization hits him, a wave of calmness comes over his body. He experiences confidence for the first time in its rawest form. He does not leap for joy, but rather smiles as he realizes that he has found that certain something that he felt eluded him his entire life. The key that starts change. Personal responsibility. If it’s up to you, which it most certainly is, then it’s up to you, and you alone to change. That coupled with the leverage to change is all one needs to turn a problem into an opportunity to create a better life. Everything starts flowing from that like a river and the ironic thing is that the problem brings along with it everything you need to find the solution.

Most people slap away life’s gifts of problems and let them pile up and as the gifts that life gives keep on getting rejected, they will seemingly come on fewer and fewer occasions until they come no more. The truth is, they have always come and they always will. It’s just that people’s eyes have been gradually shut till they can see them no more. It’s time to open your eyes and see problems for more than what they appear to be because once you do that, you start to realize that the tools to finding the solutions have always lied within them.

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7 Responses to “Be Grateful For Your Problems; Be VERY Grateful”

  1. Craig Harper Says:

    Well said Brian.

    I believe your life is a disaster largely because of the decisions you have and haven’t made, and the things you have and haven’t done.

    It’s about choices.

    If YOU decide to do different, think different, react different, eat different, live different and communicate different…. you’ll be different.”


    Creating your best life has nothing to do with destiny… and everything to do with decisions.

    Craig Harper

  2. The Personal Development Carnival - January 7, 2007 - from Creating a Better Life Says:

    […] Brian Kim presents Be Grateful For Your Problems; Be VERY Grateful posted at BrianKim.net. […]

  3. john Says:

    problems helps to make a good writer. our literature would be garbage if no one experienced problems in life.

  4. Brian Kim Says:

    Craig and John,

    Well said points for the both of you. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Courage to change the things I can « The Angry Sober Dude Says:

    […] http://briankim.net/blog/2006/12/be-grateful-for-your-problems-be-very-grateful/ […]

  6. Beth Strickland Says:


    I’m trying to order the PDF file of How to finally find what you love to do and get paid for doing it by Brian Kim.

    I keep getting the message “unable to process your order at this time” after entering my master card details. Can you please advise the problem - is it available outside USA?

    Look forward to your quick response.



  7. Brian Kim Says:

    Hi Beth,

    I just emailed you. Please email me back or contact me with the contact me link at the top of this page if you have any other questions.


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