Self-Assessment

The Problem is You—Not Someone Else

Solving Problems

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When one allows his or her challenges, problems and circumstances to overtake him or her, the resolution lies in the mirror. You are the problem. Stop running around trying to make it seem like the problem is someone else. Even when you do underhanded stuff to attempt to make the real problem seem like it’s someone else, the fact still remains the true problem is you. People will allow their intellectual and spiritual vision to become clouded by listening to the lies and noise of folks who really don’t mean to do them any good in the first place. You have to be careful who you lend your ears to, considering you might be lending them to someone who is responsible for your downward spiral or downfall. Always allow the wisdom and discernment God gives you to lead you, even when you’re at home with members of your immediate family. Lending your ears to the words and “advice” of those immediate family members may be the reason why you’re dealing with the challenges, problems and circumstances you’re currently facing.

A person who has great character does not allow what he or she is going through to have a deleterious impact on his or her character. People with great character rise above the problem and seek an effective and amicable resolution to the problem.

If you’re truly interested in resolving your problems, then you should welcome the input of people you’ve known for a long time. When they offer their opinions and critiques, you shouldn’t turn them into your enemies simply because they express unsettling sentiments. Those unsettling sentiments might be the vehicles through which you realize what you need to do to remedy your problems. God intentionally designed us to be dependent on one another, evidenced from the beginning of the world by Adam’s longing for human companionship and a “help meet.” Never allow a spirit of intolerance to cause you to think and act ignorantly.

When people challenge you, embrace the challenge.

Never be afraid to acknowledge and admit you’re losing your way. Although people are willing to give superficial support to someone who says, “be yourself,” many don’t demonstrate an authentic commitment to being themselves.

Get out of your comfort zone and respond to your problems candidly. You will live a more enjoyable life when you muster the courage to deal squarely with your problems. Take the necessary time to conduct a frank self-assessment. Engage in deep thought about the way you process problems and your style(s) for addressing them. Make the essential modifications and begin to live life to the fullest.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Avoiding Problems Doesn’t Remove Them

Black Man

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If you keep running from your problems, you will never find a resolution to them.  When you try to pretend like your problems aren’t there, you’re only making them worse: the longer you avoid seeking solutions to your problems, the more difficult they become to address.  Too many people attempt to sham like they have conquered the quandaries that have given them the most pain.  It’s becoming popular for many people to say they’re “reinventing themselves,” “renewing themselves,” “living a new life,” and etc., but the reality is a true change in your life materializes conspicuous signs of change—not facades.  When many people say the aforementioned things, they’re making an effort to have others to believe their lies; they want others to think they’re living a life where they’re facing their problems directly when they’re not.

If you’re really “reinventing” yourself, “renewing” yourself, and “living a new life,” then why are there no substantive ostensible changes in your life?  Why are you unwilling to truly be yourself?  What continues to hold you back from real progress?  At the core of the answers to those questions is one’s intentional effort to run away from, hide, disguise, and bury his or her problems instead of working to defeat them.

You don’t have to live your life trying to hide and evade your problems; you can conquer them.  You must, however, be willing to deal candidly with those problems.  One can make serious progress toward remedying his or her quandaries when he or she musters the courage to confront them boldly.  Too many people attempt to bury their problems behind materialistic phenomena like money, cars, clothes, jewelry, houses, jobs, degrees, and etc., but trying to camouflage those things that are eating away at you will inevitably lead to your own undoing.

Although you may fool a number of people with your efforts to present your life as devoid of problems, the majority of folks know you have some problems—no matter what you say.  Everything’s not always going good for you.  Life exposes us to occasional challenges and problems, so don’t try to act like you’re so special and exempt for this reality.  When you invest significant time in trying to prove to others that you’re living a newly “invented” and “transformed” life, you already know authentic happiness doesn’t exist in your life, and you’re the one who is preventing real happiness from existing in your life.

Don’t allow pride to keep you from asking for help from others.  Additionally, don’t let your pride be the ultimate source of your problems.

It would be so much better to see someone truly living an ameliorated life than living a life of continuous lies; a life where one dons a faux happiness.  While things may not be going great for you right now, don’t try to pretend like they are.  Make a strong effort to engender the change in your life that will produce genuine positive results and progress—not results and “progress” that have to be fictitiously manufactured.

Boldly face your problems today and have a truly improved tomorrow.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison