Those who fume at their
problems become their victims.

David Seabury


There may be difficulty at the moment, but I will not lose the Virtue that I possess.  It is when the ice and snow are on them that we see the strength of the cypress and the pine.  I am grateful for this trouble around me, because it gives me an opportunity to realize how fortunate I am.


Whenever you hear anyone talking about a cultural or even about a human problem, you should never forget to inquire who the speaker really is.  The more general the problem, the more the person will smuggle his or her own personal psychology into the account he or she gives of it.

Carl Jung

It is in the whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has meaning.  Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and failure.  Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and our wisdom.  It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually.  It is through the pain of confronting and resolving problems that we learn.

M. Scott Peck

You have no problems, though you think you have.

A Course in Miracles

If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it round.  Trouble creates a capacity to handle it.  I don't embrace trouble; that's as bad as treating it as an enemy.  But I do say meet it as a friend, for you'll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.

Oliver Wendell Holmes


We say that we cannot bear our troubles
but when we get to them we bear them.

Ning Lao T'ai-t'ai


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Trouble is a part of your life, and if you don't share it, you don't
give the person who loves you enough chance to love you enough.

Dinah Shore


Our ignorance can be divided into problems and mysteries.
When we face a problem, we may not know its solution, but
we have insight, increasing knowledge, and an inkling of
what we are looking for.  When we face a mystery, however,
we can only stare in wonder and bewilderment, not knowing 
an explanation would even look like.

Noam Chomsky


The problem is not that there are problems.  The problem is expecting
otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.

Theodore Rubin

In the difficult are the friendly forces, the hands that work on us.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Problems are not problems at all, but results that are dissatisfying.

Jerry Gillies


Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all.

Ernest Shackleton

We must seek out problems and convert them to challenges!  We must welcome problems with arms open.  Embrace them because this can well be some of the finest parts of living.  Many older people look back on the years they spent wondering how they would meet the expenses of raising a family, coping with the problems, the illnesses--in some instances the vexations of their children--they look back now and think, "those were the most developmental, the most rewarding, the most wonderful years of my life.  If I could only have recognized it then."
    What they're saying, in effect, is that they should have welcomed problems.  Encountering a steady stream of problems day after day made their lives warm and meaningful.  It gave them confidence.  It helped insure that their later years would be years of serenity.  Welcome problems, reach out for them, charge into them and convert them in your mind immediately to challenges.  The negative way to look at a problem is to think of it as a problem.  Search it out, isolate it as a problem, then in your mind convert it to a challenge, determine the steps that you will need to surmount it just as the pole vaulter needs to first determine steps and then work at it.  Only in this way do you develop the skill, the coordination, the mind, the muscle and the confidence to really get it done.

Joe D. Batten and Leonard C. Hudson
If something comes up that you wish would go away, accept that it has
come for a reason and consider how you can benefit from the experience.
How is this situation stimulating you to grow in ways that you would not
have grown had it not come forth?  Is there an unseen opportunity here?
Are you being guided to make a course correction that will ultimately
improve your life?  Every difficulty comes with a gift in its hands.  It remains
a problem until you accept the gift.  Upon receiving the gift, the situation is
transformed and it may resolve easily or even miraculously.  Do your best
to hold challenges in a higher light and do not lose sight of the many
blessings in your life.  The challenge occupies but a sector of your
experience.  There is much more to your life than this situation.

Alan Cohen
The Tao Made Easy

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your
problems are your own.  You do not blame them on your mother,
the ecology, or the president.  You realize that
you control your own destiny.

Albert Ellis



It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved
in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.

John Steinbeck

Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution.
If you don't have any problems, you don't get any seeds.

Norman Vincent Peale


A problem is a chance for you to do your best.

Duke Ellington

When we peer beyond ourselves, we remove our attention
from whatever our present personal problem is and it dies
from neglect.  We keep a problem a problem when we
indulge it by obsessing over it.  Switching our focus offers
a perspective that's new, and thus destined to be beneficial.

Karen Casey
The Promise of a New Day

When it becomes a problem for you, somehow now itís yours.  And
when it becomes yours, it can only become yours through your mind.
Thatís all you have to make it a problem: your mind.  Every single
problem you face is an experience of your thinking.  You carry it
around with you, you think about it, you go to sleep with it, whatever,
but itís still in this invisible part of you, your mind.

Wayne Dyer
Happiness Is the Way


What a pity human beings can't exchange problems.
Everyone knows exactly how to solve the other person's.

Olin Miller

Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them.

Hugh Miller


Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.

Henry Ward Beecher



What is a problem?  One dictionary defines a problem as "a question
proposed for a solution."  A problem that occurs in your life, then,
may simply be a question that life asks you.  It can look like a jigsaw
puzzle that has just been taken from its box.  There may be a thousand
small pieces, each with the potential of joining together to complete a
pattern or picture.  The pieces mean nothing strewn about unconnected
on the table.  The fun of the jigsaw puzzle is in finding the relationship
between the pieces and fitting them together.  You may also find in
various life situations that the search and discovery of various pieces
of the puzzle can be more enjoyable than the finished image--because
the process can be as important as the resolution
of the problem the puzzle poses.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life

Problems can grow more serious and complex when they're not
addressed promptly, as they arise.  Minor difficulties treated in a
positive, active manner generally do not become major issues.  For
example, a minor cut properly treated can heal quickly.  But if left
untreated and exposed to additional adverse conditions, it can
become infected and require serious medical attention.  Thus, a
minor inconvenience may become a major problem.

Problems are the price you pay for progress.

Branch Rickey

Never cry because you have mountains of problem in your hands
to solve.  Always smile because each problems will someday resolve.

Santosh Kalwar


The big question isn't whether you have problems; the
all-important factor is your attitude toward problems.
How you think of the problem is more
important than the problem itself.

Norman Vincent Peale

We are more than our problems.  Even if our problem is our own
behavior, the problem is not who we are--it's what we did.  It's okay
to have problems.  It's okay to talk about problems--at appropriate
times, and with safe people.  It's okay to solve problems.  And we're
okay, even when we have, or someone we love has a problem.  We
don't have to forfeit our personal power or our self-esteem.  We have
solved exactly the problems we've needed to solve to become who we are.

Melody Beattie
The Language of Letting Go

The future will present insurmountable problems--only when
we consider them insurmountable.

Thomas S. Monson
Pathways To Perfection


We have the means and capacity to deal with
our problems if only we can find the will.

Kofi Annan


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I could do nothing without my problems; they toughen my mind.  In fact, I tell
my assistants not to bring me their successes for they weaken me, but
rather to bring me their problems, for they strengthen me.

Charles Franklin Kettering

There was a time when I thought it was a nuisance to be confronted
with a problem. I tried to get rid of it. I tried to get somebody else to
solve it for me. But that time was long ago. It was a great day in my
life when I discovered the wonderful purpose of problems. Yes,
they have a wonderful purpose.  Some people wish for a life of no
problems, but I would never wish such a life for any of you.  What
I wish for you is the great inner strength to solve your problems
meaningfully and grow. Problems are learning and growing
experiences.  A life without problems would be a barren
existence, without the opportunity for spiritual growth.

Peace Pilgrim


It is impressive to see a person who has been battered by life in many
ways, who is torn by a variety of unsolved problems, who may be
alienated from many aspects of the self--but who is still fighting,
still struggling, still striving to find the path to a fulfilling existence,
moved by the wisdom of knowing, "I am more than my problems."

Nathaniel Branden
Self-Esteem Every Day


If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house
is on fire, then you got a problem.  Everything else is inconvenience.

Robert Fulghum


Life is a series of problems.  Do we want to moan about them or solve them?

M. Scott Peck
The Road Less Traveled

Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and
failure.  Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed,
they create our courage and our wisdom.


The serious problems in life are never fully solved.  If ever they
should appear to be so it is a sure sign that something has been
lost.  The meaning and purpose of a problem seem to lie not in
its solution but in our working at it incessantly.  This alone
preserves us from stultification and petrifaction.

Carl Jung


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No matter how big and tough a problem may be, get rid of
confusion by taking one little step towards solution.

George F. Nordenhold

I have found that the greatest help in meeting any problem with decency
and self-respect and whatever courage is demanded is to know where you
yourself stand.  That is to have in words what you believe and are acting from.

William Faulkner


Often a successful problem-solver is one who creates a new context in
which to view the problem.  This can often be done by directing one's
attention away from the distracting details of the difficulty.  From a detached
perspective, we may examine the situation in a new or different light and,
after exploring information and options, choose an appropriate course of action.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life

When a child encounters something he or she does not want, that
child has all kinds of maneuvers to avoid it, such as crying, hiding,
or fighting. . . Unless we are taught to face our problems directly
and work through them, the pattern of avoidance will be repeated;
it can be a natural, accepted way to act.

Turthang Tulku

Those who in this world have the courage to try and solve in their own
lives new problems of life, are the ones who raise society to greatness.

Rabindranath Tagore


Don't hope for a life without problems.
An easy life results in a judgmental and lazy mind.

Kyong Ho

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide
your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your
mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that
you control your own destiny.

Albert Ellis


Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
sources from various social media pages.  They're too nice
not to share!)


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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