Life has three rules, according to Dan Millman: paradox, humor, and change.
Indeed, life is full of paradoxes. Which are paradoxes at first sight only, but are grains of wisdom at a closer look.
We all hear that prevention is better than cure. Long-term investment is better that immediate fire-fighting. Being proactive is better than being reactive. From this I formulate one of my favorite paradoxes:
The best way to avoid problems is to create them.
I think most of the people have a patient mentality. We realize we have serious problems once confronted with challenges we cannot ignore. And even then, we prefer quick fixes to sustainable solutions.
What is the opposite of the patient mentality? That of a student. Meaning not going to school (though that doesn’t hurt), but creating your own challenges, formulating tasks and setting goals that require high concentration and effort.
Such challenges must be tough enough to keep you focused, determined, and alert.
Build a relationship. Contribute to a community. Move to another country. Change your profession. You name it.
And here is the thing. If you consciously create these “problems”, if you keep the fire burning, life will bring less or zero misfortune. Why should it, if you’re already busy sorting out your stuff? 🙂
It’s easy to “learn and grow” once life slams you into the face. It’s much harder to do so when things are shiny and rosy.
After all, this is what responsibility means: creating your own challenges and solving them creatively, rather than facing “unexpected surprises” from the world in a panic mode.