We all face problems. No matter how hard we try, things won’t always go according to our plans. When you face a problem you have two options, you can get upset, complain, scream, and stress; or you can find a way to make it better.

Businesses create value by solving problems

The root of any successful business is solving a problem. The bigger the problem, the more valuable (profitable) the solution.

From a business standpoint, ask: how can I make my customers life better, easier, or more comfortable. The car, the computer, and squeeze ketchup bottle all make improvements on peoples lives. A car creates mobility in a comfortable environment, the computer allows people and companies to communicate, work, and create. The squeeze bottle allows people to spray their hotdogs with ease.

Focus on the solution, don’t dwell on the negative

From a personal standpoint, ask what can I do to improve the situation. We don’t always have the ability to control our environments or situation, but we can control how we react to it. You can find a way to make it enjoyable. At the very least, we can find a way to make it less miserable.

I take a yearly trip back to Japan with my wife to visit friends and family. For most of our trip we stay with family in a small house. We haven’t had an issue in the past. This year was different. This year we we stressed and lacked sleep due to a cluttered house and an additional kid (two total).

Your viewpoint changes your attitude

And yet, I am more excited to come back next year. At first, we were frustrated at the situation. We eventually realized the house was too small for our growing family and thought up a number of solutions including renovation, renting another house, and even purchasing an older home, fixing it up, and offering it as a as a rental when we aren’t there.

This last example is a perfect example of finding opportunity.We solved the problem rather than complained about it. (we may have complained a little first). We thought of a possible solutions that not only solves the problem, but create additional opportunities and may generate revenue. I am still in the same situation, but I am excited by the future rather than depressed by the present.

You have a problem if you are frustrated or angry. Rather than spend your energy on anger, spend it finding a solution. In some cases, it is as simple as changing your view point. Think of a difficult situation as an opportunity rather than a difficulty. If you do it well, you won’t only reduce your stress, but create an opportunity. Think of a a problem as an opportunity to make something better.