Audiobooks and Podcasts

Got Problems?

Last post I shared my latest audiobook listens. Well, I just threw one more audiobook into the mix: Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.

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Image credit: amazon.com

This is a “re-listen” and in 2016 I shared a couple insights from this book. I accidentally borrowed the book again from my library (all the self-improvement books are melding together and I can no longer tell one from the other!) and decided to listen to it again as background while working today.

There are two great concepts the authors discuss in the book related to problems: 1) Gravity Problems and 2) Anchor Problems.

Thought I would share excerpts from two old blog posts (circa 2016) in which I discussed these problems in the “Postscript” section in case you find value from these insights like I did.

Gravity Problems

In this book the authors discuss “Gravity Problems” and how we get mired in “Gravity Problems”.

What are “gravity problems”? They are problems that are not actionable to resolve.

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Image credit: Pexels Photo Library

The authors share a great example (paraphrased):

A friend asks you what is wrong. You reply “I am having a hard time in life, I just cannot make it up hills as easily as I want to due to this thing called gravity. If I just did not have gravity in my life pulling me down, I would be fine and I could run up any hill I want”.

The authors humorously share that unless you are able to change how the earth spins on its axis and its rotation around the sun, you are not going to be able to resolve your “gravity problem”.

Now perhaps the real problem is you are not at your ideal fitness level and/or you need to improve your cardiovascular health, so you can more easily climb up a hill. That is an actionable problem.

Here is great quote from the book to ponder:

If it’s not actionable, it’s not a problem. It’s a situation, a circumstance, a fact of life. It may be a drag (so to speak), but, like gravity, it’s not a problem that can be solved.”

– Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Anchor Problems

The authors discuss another type of problem that gets you in the way of moving forward – “Anchor Problems“. As the authors describe – “Anchor Problems are like a physical anchor, they hold us in one place and prevent motion…”

I love this quote from the book in relation to “Anchor Problems”:

“Anchor problems keep us stuck because we can only see one solution – the one we already have that doesn’t work.

Anchor problems…are really about the fear that, no matter what else we try, that won’t work either…”

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Image credit: Pexels Photo Library

I could relate to the two types of problems and re-listening to the book is reminding me of a different way to think about “problems”.


Postscript

Next post I will reveal my work to date on my art quilt called Recycled Love for our annual Central Oregon SAQA show.


Feature image credit: Pexels Photo Library

10 thoughts on “Got Problems?”

    1. There is more meat to theses concepts than my blurbs in this post in the actual book itself; but I thought I would share a tiny bit for pondering 🙂
      Happy sailing 🙂

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  1. Thanks for sharing this distinction. I find it helpful – it can be so tricky to tell the difference between the actionable and un-actionable sides of a problem, and it’s easy to get stuck working on / being vexed by the things that will probably not change (oh, a familiar story to me!). Anchor problems is a good concept, too (is the hope, there, that we can choose to let go of the anchor?). Cheers. 🙂

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    1. Thanks for your comments and the book does a lot better and deeper job at explaining it but I think I captured the overall concept. Yes we are all I bet plagued by gravity and anchor problems! I try and catch myself now and see if a problem is really a problem or just a situation. 🙂

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