Camera snapping, my eyes hurt
Niggas dying back where I was birthed
Fuck your iris and the IRS
Get the hell up off of your high horse
You got the shit that niggas die for
Dry yours, why you mad take the good with the bad
Don’t throw that baby out with that bath water…
-Jay-Z, Holy Grail
What most of us (those of us who can take the time to casually read blog posts) consider problems are not really problems.
When I was 14 on my first organized basketball team, our coach Steve asked the team if any of us felt nervousness or stress during games. Then he scoffed at the very thought of it.
“Stress,” Steve said, “is when you have a wife and 3 kids and you have to figure out how to put food on the table for them by next week! Stress is when you don’t have a job and you have bills to pay!”
It put playing rec league basketball in perspective for our prepubescent minds.
In one of my favorite books, Paul Arden shared a story from his younger days. He approached his dad and said, “I have problem.”
“Are they going to kill you?” His dad replied.
“Then you don’t have a problem.”
Our brains are hardwired to find and escape problems from back in the caveman days. And even though we have evolved way past those primitive times, the human brain still has that section that needs to find and stress over crisis. If we don’t control it, what used to be a saber-tooth tiger is replaced by a negative tweet aimed in your direction, or a Facebook comment war over the presidential election.
Your job is to learn to control that area of your mind — consciously asking yourself what is really a problem and what isn’t. What requires a fight-or-flight response and what does not. Most of the time you don’t need to run away, nor must you kill to survive. Those are real problems.
You don’t want real problems.