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This, in fact, is a darn good question. A problem occurs when there is a difference between what "should be" and what "is" between the ideal and the actual situation. The key to correcting something that is not right in our lives is to try to figure out what is wrong. Put another way, we must identify the problem correctly.
For some odd reason a large majority of people think that their problems are a lot more serious than they really are. You may be one of them. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that practically everyone else out there has a much easier life than you. But as Socrates pointed out, "If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart." Think that you and your problems are so important?
Have you ever considered that your perception of reality could be wrong? If you haven't, this is a pretty good sign that it is. One of the great creations of the human mind is a perception of reality that has absolutely no relationship to it. Thus, you have to be careful with what you perceive as reality. Any misrepresentation of it is a lie. This will cause you all sorts of big problems in life, particularly when you perceive circumstances more much more serious than they really are.
Do you want an exotic sports car? Think it will make you happy? Maybe. Maybe not. A former sports car owner remarked, "The two best days in my life were when I bought my Alfa Romeo and when I sold my Alfa Romeo." This man is not the only person to have wanted a certain dream car, obtained it, and found out that it was the car from hell. There may be something positive in every negative event but there is usually something negative in every positive event. Best-selling author Richard Bach wrote, "Our disasters have been some of the best things that ever happened to us. And what we swore was blessings have been some of the worst." As Bach implies, the negative in a positive event often turns out to be big enough to make the positive event something that you would rather not have happened to you.
Not so long ago an acquaintance of mine was extremely concerned about a nasty rumor that supposedly was all about him. For months he was determined to find out who had started the cheap gossip so he could seek some sort of severe revenge. Months after everyone else had forgotten about the rumor, he kept reminding others about it. Revenge had become his obsession.
Do you think that getting fired from your present job would be a really bad experience? Your answer is likely "Definitely yes!" Surprisingly, being given the axe - regardless of the stature of your job - can be a good thing. Many years ago one friend mine was fired from his position as a project engineer. He was devastated. Yet it turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to him.
If you want to be one of the conscious minorities, then you must live in the present and master the moment. Unfortunately, most of us don't live in the "now." We live either the "before," or the "then," in place of the "now."
The notion of living in the now isn't an overly profound idea - yet few of us do it. Not only is it insane to live in the past, it is just as insane to live in the future, thinking about how much better life may be if certain great things happen to you. The key to having great things happen to you in the future is to make the most of the present. As an unknown wise person said, "The future belongs to those who live intensely in the present."
"Show me a hero," quipped American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, "and I will write you a tragedy." The ultimate tragedy, however, is the vast majority of modem hero-worshipers in the Western world who revere false heroes. So much so, that hero is one of the most misused words in the English language. As a matter of course hero today is mostly applied to people who do well in sports or in the financial world or in show business and have gotten a lot of publicity. Unfortunately, the modem American hero is somebody whom we adore, respect, worship, or idolize for all the wrong reasons. With this in mind, it's best to be careful with your heroes. Don't put any of them on a pedestal. After all, no one - even a true hero - deserves to be there.