Do you have problems, adversity, and obstacles in your life? If you said yes, then you are like everyone else. Even the most successful people are faced with challenges. What varies is how each person responds to their problems.
Running away from problems is not only futile, it leads to a false sense of security. The erroneous premise is that your problems can be left behind by utilizing one or more strategies. The reality is, problems follow you until they are resolved.
People attempt to run away in numerous ways. Although the approaches may vary, they all have one thing in common. None of the techniques help find solutions. Instead, the problems persist or grow worse.
Running away isn't always literally changing your physical location. More often, it is escaping mentally. Displacement activity is a common example of mentally running away. Rather than dealing with a problem, a person puts their energy into something totally unrelated.
Anything can be a displacement activity. Organizing your home or office, hobbies, sports, socializing, travel, volunteering, or school can all serve this purpose. Displacement activities, when taken on their own merits, are legitimate pursuits. When used as an escape, they prolong problems.
Obviously, there is nothing wrong with productive, benevolent, or leisure activities. It's when you turn to an activity to avoid dealing with an issue, that you do yourself a disservice. Although there is nothing wrong with your activity, you are using it to avoid facing your problems.
There are those who turn to destructive behavior in the quest to run away from their problems. Whether it be drugs, alcohol, reckless gambling, or any other type of self-destructive behavior, a new set of issues is created. In addition to their original problems, they have dug a deeper hole for themselves.
These individuals may even claim that they will cease their destructive behavior once their problems go away. This is just an excuse. Their problems won't fix themselves and will get worse. Subsequently, they will continue to spiral downward until they decide to end their harmful behavior and take a proactive role in their lives.
Physically running away is also a commonly used option. Some people will move to another location thinking their problems will be left behind. Others will jump from job to job in an attempt to find a company that isn't filled with jerks. A third approach is frequently changing relationships in search of a situation that doesn't have any problems.
Problems are often caused, or attracted by, how you act and who you are. Therefore, they will follow you wherever you go. There are some problems that may be solved by changing your location. But if you find that you encounter similar problems wherever you go, running is obviously not the answer.
Another strategy is to blame others for your predicament. If you believe someone else is responsible for creating your situation, then obviously you aren't responsible for fixing it. This conclusion is false. You are not a victim of circumstances. It's your life. You are solely responsible for its direction.
Expecting someone else to fix your problems is also running away. By assigning this responsibility to another person, you abdicate your part in running your life. Therapists and clergy are typically assigned this role. Although they can guide you and offer suggestions, you are the only one who can take action to solve your problems.
No one wants problems but everyone has to deal with them. When they occur, you can minimize their longevity by handling them as quickly as possible. Attempting to run away from them will just prolong your problems as well as enabling them to get worse. Every problem has a solution and. Put your energy into solving your problems, not running away.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at
or write him c/o this paper. 2007 Bryan Golden