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A friend once told me about a trip to Tibet. He went there intending to escape from civilization, find peace. Since he had no money, he decided to travel on foot. I don’t know where he got the determination to go this far, but it was how it was—he crossed paths with a fellow traveller, and together they prepared their backpacks.
The road was long.
After many days, they reached a mountainous area covered with trees. It was dark, so they decided to find shelter. He and his travelling companion lit a fire and, after eating, jumped into their sleeping bags.
In the darkness, something began to howl + bark. My friend thought that it was wolves, so he held his breath. He had a knife in his pocket; he pulled it out, ready to fight… Quick steps followed…
Scary, right? As I wrote these words, chills ran through my body… Brrrr…
How could it be otherwise when it’s dark and you’re in the middle of the woods?
My Latvian friend got even more frightened…
He gripped the knife tightly in his hands…
Feeling that something touched him, he immediately struck that something with his knife. Blood spilled as his knife struck his friend in the leg… Imagine, he had hurt his fellow travelling companion!!!
He howled in pain because it wasn’t just a slight scratch…
It’s nice to recall a story like this when it didn’t happen to you…
Why am I sharing this story? I want to emphasize the conflict that people face every day. After all, this poor fellow wanted to run away from civilization. He thought that he would get rid of many problems by running away from people, but the opposite happened.
By escaping the troubles caused by civilization, he created a myriad of even more serious challenges and problems that, unfortunately, did not solve the main problem (I’m talking about peace in his chest area). Why? Because the laws of the universe apply not only in cities but also in forests, underwater, in the entire damn universe.
The most important problem faced by people who avoid problems
Every one of us has had to deal with a paradox in which, by avoiding problems, one encounters more problems than they had before. For example, when you were a child, you wanted to avoid being criticized for your immaturity, so people asked to listen to adults. (Since they are smarter.) But as an adult, you face other accusations. People around you say: “Well, you’re an adult; so act like one!”
I could give you many examples.
Imagine a man who wants to avoid having to walk. He buys a car and encounters more problems than he had before.
a) Every year he must change the tires (in Russia, tires are changed twice a year due to seasonal changes).
b) What about constant refuelling? You must care about your car even if it’s Tesla!
c) Where to park the car if there is no space?
However, it’s interesting to observe that if this man gives up his car, after some time, he will have to deal with the problems faced by students. He will have to wait at cold bus stops. Brrrrrrr….
The founder of Uber (Kalanickas) once decided not to travel by his own car, ordering an Uber instead. It was a mistake; the Uber taxi driver recognized that he was the CEO of the company. He could have thanked Kalanickas for creating a job for him, but instead of doing so, he told him that Uber bankrupted his taxi company, forcing him to work for Uber. Between the driver and the founder of Uber arose a “funny” conflict…(video). In other words, it would have been better if Kalanickas had instead taken his own car…
Similar difficulties apply to all spheres of life.
Avoiding problems in relationships with yourself and your loved one
For example, when you marry, you inherit your partner’s problems. If you try to resolve them, it will be really challenging, but if you avoid them, you will encounter three times more difficulties. I’m talking about divorce, division of property. So I repeat: AVOIDING RESPONSIBILITY CAUSES EVEN BIGGER PROBLEMS. We are talking about avoidance coping.
What is avoidance coping
Avoidance coping is related to avoidance behaviours, and escapism when a person changes their behaviour to avoid thinking about, feeling, or doing difficult things.
“Wait, damn it; why don’t you tell me what happened in the woods with your friend? Did he finally get to Tibet?” a reader who’s afraid to hear about avoidance coping, because it has to do with his personal problems which he wants to avoid. Such people are used to running away from difficult topics, and therefore would prefer to hear interesting stories about the suffering of another person. Let’s live up to this person’s expectations!
How to create more problems by escaping from problems (part two)
Do you remember that scene that took place at night?
It was impossible to see anything, so the scene looked like this:
Latvian guy was terribly scared, so he used a knife…
He realized what he had done only after hearing his travelling companion scream.
He injured his leg. Unfortunately, there was no hospital nearby.
In search of help, they fell into the hands of border guards, and they were deported.
If they had not escaped from the problems in the city, things would have been different—
“Alex Monaco, this story is not true; it seems made up,” a reader will cut me off again.
I don’t know if the Latvian told the truth. The next time I meet him, I’ll ask him to introduce me to his fellow travelling companion. Maybe he’ll show me his injury. Then, I will post a photo of his wound here. But the matter lies elsewhere—with people who think they will find peace by changing their environment.
Understand that if you learn to feel good in the mountains, you will feel bad again when you return to the city because you have only learned to feel calm in a quiet environment. But if you learn to feel at ease in a metropolis, you will become invincible!
In other words: By solving the most difficult problems, you avoid many other problems that you do not know about yet. Realizing this, I took up residence in New York (I have covered the whole story in more detail in my book, “Soul Clothing,” which will be available for purchase in the future).
New York is a big city drowned in money with lots of drug addicts and dealers, which guarantees the constant roar of police sirens. Drivers also like to honk their horns for no reason. At first, it sucked the nerves out of me. But later, New York became a tool that changed me.
Why meditating in New York is better than in Tibet, at the Shaolin Monastery or in the forest
New York helped me find peace in everything + with everything. Thanks to it, I found peace, as instead of running away from problems, I started to solve them in the hardest way possible. By solving problems in the most difficult way, you avoid bouncing around and chaos. Because solving many small problems is more difficult than solving one large problem. This is the physics of problem-solving and—
“Alex, you bastard! You’re talking nonsense! Peace can only be found in a quiet place,” one of the readers will interrupt me. I have advice for this impatient person. Go to New York, and you will surely meet people who are capable of meditating in the heart of this city…
“Alex, they are there to show themselves off like this; they’re just pretending… and anyway, it’s not like you say,” one more will say.
Well, here is one more pic:
And you, do you want peace?
Understand that when you run away from people in confined spaces, you will run into other problems. When you are gone, you will leave your friends and loved ones like a character from the book, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.” I wrote about it in my book.
The main assumption was that if you devote two months to yourself, you lose touch with your children and parents. And, of course, someone will say that the most important thing is to live for yourself, but those who live only for themselves often face a new problem—accusations from those who have much more important values (care about others). I am among these people. Yes, I am a real needle in the ass for those who ONLY take care of themselves…
How running from problems affects your success, happiness
Let’s say you want to get out of a crap job but are afraid to tell your manager about it. You doubt it and postpone it. Why? Because you’re afraid of the problems that you will encounter by leaving your job:
1. You will have problems paying back a loan (if you have one).
2. You’ll have problems finding a new job.
2. And… You will have nothing to eat and, of course, you will die, and you will do it faster than Salvador Alvarenga, who lived 438 days in the Pacific.
When you think about these difficulties, you say to yourself:
“Umm, yeah… If I quit my job, I’ll be in a lot more trouble than if I stay! Well, I guess I’ll stay in this job after all!” 🙂
Such conversation with yourself seems reasonable, but it doesn’t correspond to reality. In fact, you will run into at least ten problems instead of four by staying at work.
It is true…
If you try to run away from problems, you will have to solve the following problems:
1. You will have to regret what you didn’t do.
At some point in the future, you will regret not having made your dreams come true (a study was conducted that showed that seniors most regret not doing what they wanted).
2. It will affect your mood.
Those around you will ask what’s wrong with you because you have a sour look on your face…
3. You will have to fix old problems because you haven’t solved them.
For example, you will have to keep in touch with the rotten boss who flatters your mind…
4. You will have to work on an old schedule that you didn’t like.
If you want to leave work because you have to work too much, but you don’t quit, then your life will be on a schedule, so you may be assigned to work sometime during the Christmas season.
5. People will call you a robot or some other jargon.
People around you will see you as a slave who doesn’t take risks.
6. You will be limited to a fixed income, because you act like you did in the past and haven’t changed anything.
7. You will not be sure of tomorrow…
You can get fired whenever your employer wants. This is not something under your control. (Fu***ng running from problems!)
8. Problems with money.
Without changing your job or quitting your new activity, you will not be able to increase your income.
9. Problems with healthy food.
By staying at work, you will still have nothing to eat, as the chemical-laden junk they sell in stores cannot be called real food. I know what I am saying: I ended up buying food at a Tesco store. I remember those cheap sandwiches and packets of beef… Yuck… To eat healthily, you need more time and money, more freedom, and…
These are just some of the problems that await you if you choose to avoid facing the problem. The most important: staying in your old job will magically give you another super bonus problem: sooner or later, you will have to resolve the issue of feeling reluctant to work…
Therefore, whatever way you look at it, the truth goes like this:
“If you avoid solving problems, the problem will still not be resolved, so you will have to deal with difficulties every day that arise from delaying the resolution of the problem.”
…Somehow, like this… (as the protagonist of a certain movie would say)
Oh yes I’ve more funny examples, but it is better to focus on solutions, right?
Two ways to solve problems
Think about the most important problem in your life.
Have you given it some thought?
Now choose one of the two solutions:
1. HIDE YOUR TAIL LIKE A LITTLE PUPPY AND RUN AWAY FROM THE PROBLEM THAT YOU HAVE ENCOUNTERED.
Yes, you can act as most people do. You can avoid the hard work that needs to be done. However, please don’t forget that you will regret not achieving what you wanted by refusing to solve the problems that arose out of desire sooner or later.
2. INHALE AIR AND SOLVE THE DAMN PROBLEM! ONE, TWO, THREE!
Oh yes, I propose fixing the problems you’re experiencing right now. If you have a different opinion, please answer what’s better: solving difficult problems and heading towards your dreams or solving problems that arise from not pursuing your dreams?
Again, you will have problems in either case; therefore, it’s better to deal with those related to your dreams than to refuse them…
I know you understood what I mean, but did you realize it?
A smart + wise man (I saw him in the mirror today) once said that there lies a gigantic ocean between perception and knowledge, so think about it well.
So what are you going to do?
Use 3 steps to stop running from problems
1. Specify exactly what jobs and activities you avoid.
2. Choose a way to change your thinking.
3. Start making changes and commitments. Make a commitment to change.
Why it can be very hard to avoid avoidance coping
Sometimes avoidance coping is very hard to avoid. It can be stress related, so you need to use a variety of treatments, and if it has to do with anxiety, find out what is exposure therapy. Exposure therapy is a psychological treatment that was developed to help people confront their fears. A psychologist should be consulted here, because sometimes the fear of solving problems is associated with serious symptoms of disease. Therefore, I suggest that you take it seriously. However, there are times when fear is linked to beliefs, an attitude that can be changed. I did it—you can do it too!
When I say I did it, I mean I have to deal with my fears every day.
For example, I was concerned that people might misunderstand my thoughts that I outlined in this article. I was lazy to write this article and had an idea to watch a new series on Netflix.
I wanted to quit writing this long article many times. Because creating an article that is easy to read is not easy. But as you can see, I got the job done. Why? Because I don’t avoid problems. I fight with fear like a gladiator!
Oh yeah, every time I decided to put it down and turn on Netflix, I told myself: “Alex, you damn fool, let the entertainment wait! Understand this, man: Your experience depends only on how many problems you have solved in the past!!! Therefore, I am begging you: Do not forget the two eternal truths: Truth no. 1: If you avoid problems, you will encounter inexperience; Truth no. 2: And by not avoiding difficulties, you will gain a lot of experience…”
How big problems helped me to create future
Once I realized that I didn’t have a website. This was a problem, as I couldn’t sell my services. I didn’t have money. This was another problem, but I showed a middle finger to this issue by creating a website by my own hands. After launching my website, I realized a few facts:
1. I’m good at it.
2. I love it.
3. I can create websites for people, companies.
More than 15 years passed, and I still create websites for companies. I even created a new brand; for more services. You can check my services here: www.s-o-c-i-a-l.com.
As you see, success comes to those who love challenges!
The best wisdom itself
…when I see a wise human, I realize that they’re not like that because they’re Einstein’s grandchild, but because they were not afraid of solving problems.
You’ve probably heard of Elon?
Elon Musk solves only the most difficult problems, so he inspires. Because, the bigger problem we solve, the bigger heroes we become…
About people who oppose everything
I’m sure there will be contradictions, but let’s mention Mother Teresa. Undertaking so many tremendous responsibilities is extremely difficult, so she will always be remembered in history as a great example. Because only those who solve the most difficult problems will remain on the list of honorable persons…
“But talking about Mother Teresa is just blah blah. You said in a previous article that she didn’t do anything good,” someone will interject. I suggest these people do at least 0.1% of the work that she did.
As you see old adults solve problems easier than young adults.
How to become a superhero
By adopting ten children, you will face many problems, but at the same time, you will gain a lot of experience.
You will become an even greater hero if you treat all your adopted children better than you do yourself.
And if you decide to start a homeless shelter, you will become even more valuable. There’s no denying that TikTok fans won’t value you, but smart people will feel tremendous respect for you.
When I talk about appreciation, I’m not talking about damn rewards, but the value you feel for yourself. After all, the more problems you solve, the more you will respect yourself.
Best way to deal with a problem is to solve it with a smile on your face!
Books to read:
I recommend reading a piece of art named “Anxiety and Avoidance: A Universal Treatment for Anxiety, Panic, and Fear Kindle Edition” (by Michael A. Tompkins) or “Stop Avoiding Stuff: 25 Microskills to Face Your Fears and Do It Anyway” (by Matthew S. Boone, Jennifer Gregg, Lisa W. Coyne).
A friend of mine once offered to read “Stop Guessing: The 9 Behaviors of Great Problem Solvers.” I’ll try it soon. This book is waiting its turn.