Three Kinds of Trouble
By Catherine Pulsifer
One of our all time favorite quotes on trouble is by Edward Everett Hale:
"Never bear more than one trouble at a time.
Some people bear three kinds -
all they have had,
all they have now,
and all they expect to have."
Our thoughts on these wise words said by Mr. Hale are:
Think of your past troubles as lessons to help you with the challenges you face now. Past troubles are those that have bothered you, those that required many actions but those actions did not resolve them, and those troubles that are beyond your control to do anything about.
For example, you may have an annoying colleague at work that does nothing except continuously interrupts your work by talking about anything and everything and not a thing to do with work. You have tried several times to talk with him or her about their behavior and your requests for no interruptions works for a few hours but continues to persist thereafter. In essence, you cannot even appeal to your supervisor because the same thing just continues to happen despite the supervisorí occasional intervention. These are troubles that are in the past where actions have not resolved a thing.
Eliminate today's troubles and problems by finding solutions, and then concentrate your energy on implementing those solutions.
Now, the troubles of today are in a different category altogether. These current issues are ones, by definition, that you must deal with in the present. However, let us define these issues a little more clearly by breaking these issues down into those that are within your control and those that are not. This means simply that those over which you can do absolutely nothing about must be discarded from the list because no amount of thinking will change the situation at all, and to keep spending time thinking about them is to waste your precious time.
On the other hand, though, the troubles that you can influence or those over which you can control by taking focused and dedicated action are those to which your energies should be directed.
As for the troubles of tomorrow, either completely forget them, or take whatever action is necessary to avoid them or minimize them. Without fail, I have spoken to a great percentage of people who focus more of their energy of what tomorrow might bring than focus their thoughts and energy on what can be done right now to help eliminate future concerns.
For example, one of the greatest concerns for those labeled as baby boomers is future financial issues. Part of these issues related directly to whether they will have enough money to retire fully, or will they have to continue working to make ends meet. This particular future concern, however, is a concern that should be dealt with by devising a financial plan right now to eliminate the worry or concern. This may mean cutting back on discretionary spending right now, or selling a larger home and moving into a smaller home that is either totally paid off or has a much smaller mortgage payment.
If you want to avoid trouble in your life, I need to tell you right now that it is impossible. When we go through life no matter whom you are, trouble is there in many forms. You cannot hide from it nor can you closet yourself away.
Since trouble can be found around any corner, you must decide now how you will handle trouble. If you decide to just sit and complain, you will stay stuck in the same place; if you decide that you will turn trouble into a valued learning experience, and an experience that can help you through future difficulties, then you are on the right path.
Remember the song, "Don't worry, be happy"? It is good advice!
And when you are facing trouble, always remember the wisdom said by Oliver Wendell Holmes,
"Trouble creates a capacity to handle it."
The poet, Edgar A Guest has written many poems. But, See It Through, is one of our favorites. Be encouraged by the wisdom in the verses. Let the thoughts remind you to never give up.
See It Through
By Edgar A. Guest
When you're up against a trouble,
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