One of the things I notice more and more as I read in the marketing space is that there seems to be a link between success and willingness to tackle problems.
Now actually writing that, it doesn’t feel like the shocking revelation it felt like when it first dawned on me, but I’ll be damned if I don’t riff on it anyway.
This one is especially interesting because I think conventional wisdom is typically quite ambiguous when it comes to the nature of problems. I’d even go so far as to say that conventional wisdom is actually kinda dumb on the matter. Psychologically, we’re quite averse to problems — I’ve been in plenty of situations where I’ve seen people go totally to pieces in the wake of some unwanted event, and I count myself amongst that number. It’s natural, it happens to us all.
We admire those who appear calm and stoic in the face of adversity. Why wouldn’t we? But surely that should really be the default. It’d be foolish to think we can avoid unpleasantry for our entire lives, so having the healthy ability to tackle an issue with poise and a level-head seems like something that should be pushed as the norm.
My feeling is that people who are really successful don’t just weather the storms. They chase them. They find it in themselves to, aikido-like, flip the weight of the negativity on itself and use the force of the momentum to propel themselves forward. There’s definitely been plenty of times where the thing I was banging my head against was a blessing in disguise all along. It’s reminding myself of that that’s the hard bit, but I guess it’s pretty hard to think straight about anything when you’re banging your head against a wall.
Like most things, it’s probably a matter of perspective. If something isn’t going your way, maybe you’re approaching from the wrong direction. You wouldn’t drive down a one-way street and then kick off at all the oncoming traffic, not unless you harboured a monumental sense of entitlement, so why treat a situation, event or idea the same way?
We should probably just stop calling them problems altogether, it’s not exactly a word that inspires enthusiasm. So let’s just do it. Go on, it might be fun! Or life-changing!
Next time one of us has a problem, let’s just do a quick cognitive shuffle of the cards, and appraise the event as an opportunity, or as an experience (if you want to get ultra-worldly), or maybe just as a peculiarity. I like this last one. A peculiarity is a totally different thing. It’s interesting. It’s mysterious. It invites our curiosity and our attention, and in that moment there and then, it might just be that we’re the only ones in the world with the skills, ideas and beliefs that are properly qualified to categorise this odd little anomaly.
Stay peculiar friends.
Have a bloody lovely day.
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About the curator - Matt Jenko
Hi my name is Matt, but my friends call me Matt. I’m on the wrong side of 29 (damn I hate it every time I have to update that number), definitely feeling my age, but never felt happier and more content than I do at this point in my life. I’ve been through some rocky patches (who hasn’t) and lived to tell the tale, and boy do I gots some stories.
When I’m not giving opinions absolutely nobody asked for, I’m doing a worldbuilding with my passion project, vivaellipsis. If you like offbeat nonsense delivered through immersive escapism, then go and get involved. Or don’t, I’m not telling you what to do. I’m not yer boss.
I’m a simple man with simple interests. I like Yorkshire tea, the sound of rain on the window, and a bloody good story.
9 August 2021
What today’s insight has granted me is the knowledge that if you don’t check in on yourself, you’ll lose touch with yourself. You’ll become unfamiliar with each other, and it feels very strange. I honestly think this is what it means to feel out of sorts.
27 May 2021
The cinematic score to your psychological journey with Matt Jenko. Featuring artists like: Bonobo • Yotto • Emancipator • CamelPhat • ODESZA • Carpenter Brut • Tinlicker • Four Tet • Jacques Greene • Tchami • RÜFÜS DU SOL