Journey of Life

the place formerly known as control your destiny

Monthly Archives: July 2008

The Problem Drawer

I am struggling to remember how I first got introduced to this technique, and also trying to work out why I stoppd using it since it has really worked very well for me in the past! I guess no one is perfect and that it is easy to get caught up in everyday life and work. Then today the thought popped into my head. I don’t even know where the thought came from but I am glad I acted on it because it would be beneficial for me to start using it again.

Now, this may not be the exact way it was meant to be used, I have no idea who designed it or came up with the idea! I don’t even know if it is called “The Problem Drawer” or if I just chose to call it that!

My way of using it (when I remember to) is this;  whenever I am faced with a problem that I am struggling to find a solution to, the first question I ask myself is: “What can I do right now to solve it?” If I don’t get an answer I write the nature of the problem down on a piece of paper and put it in a drawer. I then refuse to think about it anymore (which is easier said than done) and if I catch myself thinking or worrying about it, I remind myself that it’s in the drawer.

Then once a week I look through the drawer one problem at a time and ask myself: “Is this still a problem?” and the interesting thing is that, most of what i perceived to be a problem at the time turns out not to be a problem anymore.

This leads me to believe that I created the problem in my head with silly questions like “what if….” which is then not really a problem at this point but a potential future problem!

The benefit of ” The problem Drawer” for these “future” type problems is that I spend a lot less time worrying about them. You know when you play all these different scenarios out in your head? “What will I do if I lose my job”? “What will I do if….”? I suspect I am not the only person on this planet that goes through this process!! The reality, however, is that when this goes on in my head, it is not actually a problem!! The events hasn’t happened yet and that is exactly how the “Problem Drawer” has helped. It reduces the “films/scenarios” in my head whenever I remember to do it!!

It may be wise to remind, at least myself” that this is not some magic box that solves all problems without any action on my part! There will be situations, challenges, problems – whatever you want to call it, that requires action on my part. Some of these may require action instantly, where “The Problem Drawer” is not the best vehicle for it.

Like if you have to pay your mortgage and haven’t got the funds to do it – putting it in the drawer will not result in the mortgage being paid. (unless of course you have a magic drawer, in which case I want to know how to get one!!)  The question “What can I do right now to resolve this” can help.

You may still not be able to pay the mortgage or bill or whatever the problem is , but you could contact the bank and tell them that you are having a problem, which could then change the problem slightly as they may be able to offer you some kind of plan to resolve it over time, which could be a solution in the short term.

I am sure there are many variations of the “Drawer” but the main thing for me is to have a way of getting the future worries out of me head and this does it for me.

If you happen to read this and have a different way of doing this, please let me know. I believe that we can all learn a lot from eachother as long as we are willing to share.

If you want to let me know about your way, please email me or write a comment.

I will leave you with a beautiful poem I found on another blog – Click HERE

Best wishes



Take Time for Yourself

Well another three and a half months has all of a sudden gone by without me writing a single word and in all honesty I haven’t felt any desire to write at all.

I am not exactly sure why, but I kept feeling kind of guilty about it, and that sort of made me feel like I should write something which then stopped me completely!! Call me me mad if you want!

Why do some people (well, me!)  put this strange pressure on themselves to do things when there is no need for it?  Louise Hay is right in saying that she would like to take the word “should” and remove it from the dictionary. Whenever people (me) say to themselves; “I should be more organised at work”, “I should eat more healthy”, “I should do more exercise”, whatever, for me that word is exactly what stops me doing what I “Should” or what other people think I “Should”!

Whenever I say to myself “I should………”, immediately afterwards I automatically start to think of excuses not to do it and most of the time I end up not doing it! I wonder sometimes if I am the only one that goes through this strange thought process?!

However, her solution to that way of thinking is to replace the word “Should” with  “If I really wanted to, I could……………” and it works an absolute treat, whenever I remember to do it!!

This is the other thing; I very often have to work fairly hard at sticking to what I learn and I often fall back into old habits of both thinking and doing, and sometimes the old habits take over again for a while. It’s like taking two steps forward and one back!

The good news is the fact that even though I let the old habits take over from time to time, I now know that I can switch back at any time, which I didn’t before I started all of this self improvement stuff. I also realise that switching back really is as easy as simply making the decision to do so.

Making the decision can be that hard part!

There have been times when I wish I had never opened the door to all of this because, once you do, there is no turning back.

Perhaps there is some truth in the phrase “Ignorance is bliss”! Fortunately I very rarely think these thoughts anymore, and whenever I do, I pretty much instantly think about how much my life has improved since I started learning about this. In other words; I really do not want to go back to being ignorant to all of this.

I think at the same time though, it is important to sometimes take a little break from it all and give your mind a chance to absorb it all, which is another thing I have had to learn. It was all or nothing with me and I would go through so much of it in a short space of time, which then got me a little bit confused.

What did slow me down was a book by Spencer Johnson called One Minute for Yourself

It is a very short book and written in a story form, but it really made me open my eyes, not just in terms of doing too much learning but also in my work, which has been too hectic lately. I read it twice and then gave it to a friend who, I felt needed it more than me, but after a week without it I went out and bought another copy.

Have I managed to erase the word “Should” and replace it “If I really wanted to I could”? No not quite yet, but I am much more aware of it and I know that when I feel stressed or overwhelmed at work it is usually because I have told myself that I “Should” get something done! That is also exactly why it has taken me this long to write anything on here. Every time I attempted to even start writing something it was because I felt I should and also I was getting slightly worried that if Ileft it too long I would never write anything on here again. Obviously that is no longer the case.

Time will tell how long it will be before I write again, but when it happens, it will be because I really want to and not because I feel “I Should”!!!

Until then

I wish you all the best


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