The Tao of Captain Jack Sparrow

Jack Sparrow

I love Jack Sparrow – his posturing and swaggering and his nutty logic. This picture has been making the rounds on Facebook, and I find the sentiment divinely profound.

I mean, at it’s base, a problem is a problem because we deem it so. And then, once we’ve done that, we worry it, chew on it, find all the reasons it’s a problem, enlist our friends to agree that, yes, we have a problem, let it disturb our sleep, and on and on until it plays serious havoc with our lives.

We’ve developed an attitude, er, problem.

Let’s play the re-framing game.

Some of the synonyms for ‘attitude’ are: bias, frame of mind, mindset, philosophy, position. Hmmm.

I have a bias, an attitude, a position about problems: they’re bad news, they get in the way of my life, they take time and energy and (heaven forbid) money that I’d rather use for other things. A problem is bad news.

A botheration, on the other hand, why that’s no big deal. I mean, a botheration doesn’t last very long, can be soothed and smoothed, might even have an amusing aspect to it. So a problem that’s a botheration? I can deal with that.

If I re-frame a problem by using a word that doesn’t activate my bias, I’ve simply found myself in the middle of a challenge or a mess that needs to be cleaned up. I actually have more experience doing that than I do being stymied by a problem, don’t you?

If I can convince myself that a problem is not a problem, but is instead a botheration, then I can take a deep breath and deal with it. Most botherations-fixing are about taking one small step in the direction I want to go, assessing, and taking another small step until they're sorted. The very first thing I need to do is stop calling it a problem and call it a 'botheration' instead.

About the only thing I can think of that is an honest to goodness problem is something that is completely out of my control, or so big that how I feel or what I do seems to have no possible effect. That is a false state of mind. If I start taking small steps to change myself, over time, the problem will become a botheration. Especially if you do the same thing.

Do you understand?