A great colleague of mine, Jason Flom, provides a lot of food for thought. He recently shared this phrase, “This is a level-up problem” as a way to describe those types of problems that are “ProblemsNotProblems, to use a potential hashtag (feel free to play around with it if you like).
According to Jason, when we consider our problems, “level-up” ones are those problems that we only really encounter through privilege, and that others, who are less fortunate than us, might actually wish they could have.
It is a fascinating idea to think about, and one where, if you let it percolate, you can truly see the wisdom behind. Too often, we tend to get overtaken by the problems we face. Stress, no matter what our circumstances are, will always strike. And, because we are often so focused on ourselves when faced with problems, we can’t see that our levels of stress, and what we are getting stressed about, may really be surface-level issues, and not worthy of the time, and energy, we put towards them.
Instead, after a momentary release of anger or frustration, we need to move beyond and get to the point where we are, in some strange way, thankful for these problems, and not encountering the ones that might be much worse.
“Level-up” style problems, in some sense then, should be welcomed, and we must remember that a problem is only as serious as we allow it to become, and if we approach it from the “this isn’t that bad” or “I’m looking forward to figuring out how to approach it” stance, we’re apt to reduce our stress, diminish our view of the problem’s impact on our lives, and realize that we can use the problem to get better (wow that was a long sentence).
While I won’t say that we should want “level-up” problems (in reality, who does), on some level, these are the problems that we want to tease out, and should always be willing to realize that our worst problems may be exactly what someone else is wishing for themselves.