“Problems Aren’t Really A Big Deal” by Harsha Ravindran (2016)

The other day, you could say I was panicking over every little thing. I sat for an exam which I had just enough time to finish before my paper was collected; I was having a decently unproductive week; I kept sleeping and eating instead of doing anything; I hadn’t written an article in what I felt was a long time; I had a few more tests to sit for the next day, and so on. 

Basically, everything I did seemed to annoy myself, making me unsatisfied with my own performance in life, in general. And as someone who at that time, had recently started being productive, slacking off even for a short period of time seemed like an undoable sin. 

After a while of being in this mode of stress, I calmed myself down and took a couple of deep breaths. I counted the things which I needed to do and saw that there wasn’t actually much to do. Then, I started feeling guilty because I didn’t finish all the things I needed to even though there wasn’t much to do.

Somewhere along this roller-coaster of odd emotions, I realized something which I felt like a lot of people needed to know: It wasn’t really a big deal. 

Haven’t done anything productive lately? Stop whining and go do something productive. Keep sleeping off when you’re supposed to be doing things? Get more sleep at night and go use the time you use to complain to actually get work done. 

I realized that all my problems were just insignificant little things which could be easily solved if I had just stopped being so emotional about them and went and did something to fix them instead. Most of my ‘major’ problems I had with procrastinating wasn’t really a big deal at all; in fact, the solutions to them were already staring right at me, wondering why I didn’t think of them. 

Then, I thought of the other not so life threatening problems I had, like how I got upset when my teacher forgot to give my class the new time-table; how I forgot to do this or that. Basically, how I was a control freak who wanted to do everything perfectly. And as much as this has its plus points, sometimes, once you’ve done your best, you just need to breathe and relax, not care about all the little things, making sure they don’t get to you. 

As for the other things like getting annoyed at people over little things, whether it’s my sister and I fighting over our laptop or when you forget to bring your lucky pen into the exam hall – I realized that as important as it seemed at that moment in time, it doesn’t really matter.

What pen you use in the exam hall isn’t the most important thing in comparison to what you write. Who uses the laptop first isn’t going to determine the future of the whole universe – these little things don’t really matter in the long run!

So, what do we do when we’re in one of these petty situations? Even though at that point of time the situation may seem huge, it usually turns out to be pointless or less important once we actually step out of it. 

It’s like that saying, “Don’t make mountains out of molehills”. Well, you’d only know whether it is a mountain or a molehill once you step back and examine the situation. Then, you can start looking for solutions.

Firstly, I would say you’d need to take a deep breath and do S.I.E.P. This way, you would be able to see the lesson in it and not get so emotionally involved in it. And most of the time, the situation itself would seem ridiculous but the lesson behind it would be vital for you to learn.

Then once you’ve learnt the lesson, try not to get too worked up about the whole thing and just move on. Remember, other than the lesson you learnt, most of it won’t really matter and might not exactly require such dramatic reactions, despite what we would normally do. 

Keep in mind that as important as something might seem now, in time to come, it would seem much smaller than you’d expect. In conclusion, focus on solutions and the problems won’t matter to you anymore and don’t get too worked up over the little things.

– Harsha

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