How we can turn life problems into gifts

The other day I got a bill.

There were several unpleasantries about this:

  • I had no idea this bill was coming
  • I really couldn’t afford this bill
  • Other monthly bills are about to increase
  • Did I mention my hours decreased at work because the holidays are over?

Initial thoughts of “This is rather unfortunate,” quickly escalated to, “MY LIFE IS TERRIBLE AND I’M NEVER GOING TO MAKE IT AS AN ACTOR.”

While I never would have admitted this at the time, this situation was a great lesson for me. Here were some takeaways:

Take a break from the problem:

“The higher the level of emotion, the lower your level of reasoning is.”

Eric Thomas, “Secrets to Success”

When we’re upset, we create a lot of lies in our head. They’re evil. Don’t listen to them.

Take a break and step away from the problem at hand. As much as we want to try and fix the problem right then and there, our irrational minds aren’t going to handle things very well. Furthermore, if it’s a problem that we literally can’t fix in that moment, we’re wasting our energy. Save it for when you can focus on what you can fix, rather than dwell on what you can’t.

Be open to an easy solution

In the heat of the moment we don’t consider this at all. In fact, many of us don’t consider this option even when we are a bit calmer. Sometimes life has answers for us that are only available if we’re willing to see them.

Right before bed, it popped in my head that there might be payment plan options. Not only that, but there was a note on the bill I completely missed. It mentioned to call them if you were having any issues making payments. (Shocker I didn’t see this during my tantrum.)

Pain can be a good thing

Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”

– Tony Robbins

Ever fell off track with a diet? Stopped going to the gym? Started slacking on your acting goals? Chances are your current situation isn’t causing enough pain for you to do something about it.

This bill caused me pain. So much so that I didn’t take action on that one bill. I took action on several.

  • I called my healthcare provider and asked about cheaper options.
  • I chatted with Comcast about my internet package and asked about cheaper options.
  • I called about the bill and admitted I couldn’t afford to pay it.

The results were okay:

  • A rep walked me through new and cheaper healthcare options.
  • I negotiated my internet payment to only five dollars more a month. I also got cable included. We’re having a viewing party. (And I hope you’re okay with 60 of 75 channels in Espanol.)
  • I got things taken care of with the bill. I even paid it in full. Turns out….they made a mistake and it was about $200 higher than it was supposed to be 🙂

0105161414

I celebrated by crumbling the original bill and taking a selfie

Don’t get me wrong: Life doesn’t always give us the “Sorry, we messed up” card. That was just icing on the cake. The big takeaway here is that the pain of staying the same forced action that I wouldn’t have otherwise taken. It was only after this and stepping away from the problem temporarily that I was able to move forward and fix things. (Note: This becomes easier as you start to feed your mind with more positive books and materials.)

Above all else, just remember that when you’re stressed and upset, a bunch of lies will flood into your head. Don’t listen to them. I promise, you’re still awesome even when you’re stressed.

Go get ‘em.
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Know a few friends who might like this post? There’s a lovely share option. Don’t do it just for me. Do it for the others who you know will gain value from it. They’ll be glad you did. 

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