This week has found me stressed in new ways. It seems that balancing volunteer work with a hectic travel schedule, on top of two demanding corporate events that I’ve committed to, with the closing on a new home with some family commitments thrown in, has left me feeling overwhelmed and irritated. As I spent an evening complaining to my lovely wife about how I didn’t know how I was going to get it all done, she stunned me when she told me that she didn’t want to hear my whining. “This is what you wanted. This is what you signed up for” she told me.
While this little exchange was somewhat unexpected, she was exactly right. This is exactly what I had been working for and exactly what I wanted. Why was I so stressed?
I think it’s because I had foolishly believed that when I got what I wanted, that all of my problems would just fade away. That the pieces of my life would just fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
In his groundbreaking book, The 10X Rule, Grant Cardone makes the point that life is about trading one set of problems for another. That when you finally “make it” your problems don’t go away, they just get more interesting.
He has a point. The guy who needs to figure out how to shelter his income has a problem, but it’s one we would all prefer to the guy who can’t pay his mortgage. They both have problems, but one is much more interesting.
This is certainly true for me. It seems like yesterday that I was complaining about not booking any speaking engagements and being unhappy with our home. I wanted to get out and see new places and I wanted new content for my blog. All of these things were problems, but they seem pretty boring when compared to my new ones.
The point of this post is this: everyone has problems. If it weren’t for our challenges our wins wouldn’t mean anything. If we ran over life like the Harlem Globetrotters to the Washington Generals, not only would life be meaningless, it would be boring too. Our problems are what make winning interesting and winning creates just as many problems as losing.
This week, I feel a lot of stress. It’s what happens when everything you work for starts to come together at the same time. Taking a moment and remembering what my problems used to be is a great reminder of how far I’ve come but more importantly, it makes me grateful that they have finally gotten more interesting.