Putting It In Context

Put That Problem Into ContextArriving back in the office this morning, following my nice long weekend, I was greeted by the dreaded bulging inbox. Most emails were asking about forgotten passwords or the whereabouts of mislaid deliveries, but one stood out like a sore thumb.

One of our clients had missed her subscription reminders and so had been locked out of our virtual album product. Her collection data was safe and sound, but she wasn’t to know that. However, judging by the panicked tone of her email, you might have thought that the world had stopped turning or the sun had suddenly gone out … ‘nothing short of an absolute disaster ‘ was the way she described it.

Naturally, I fixed the problem within minutes and soothed her furrowed brow, but the incident got me thinking.

How often do we see something, which in real terms is a minor irritant, maybe a worrying occurrence at worst, as the end of the world? Somebody puts a ding in your car on your way to work, or the first tube is full after you’ve waited a full ten minutes for it to arrive, or maybe you spill coffee on your nice clean white shirt … disaster !!!

But when we take a deep breath, let our pulse return to normal, and look at these events in the cold light of day, they really are nothing. The problem is that we are all too often distracted by the minutiae of life whilst we fail to see the bigger picture. Your car may have a dent in it, but nobody was injured, the next tube has plenty of space and you get in on time anyway, the stain on your shirt may be annoying, but at least you weren’t scalded in the process.

So next time you think your world has come off the rails, take time to see the problem in context. It may not be as trivial as the examples I’ve given, but is it really as bad as you first thought, I rather doubt it. Remember, even the end of the world won’t be the end of the world in real terms.

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