No Sense Friday: Projects, Not Problems

What you choose to see is what you choose to get

red tomato on brown log

After graduating college, Hannah and her boyfriend worked for a farmer named Emmanuel on an organic farm in France. One day, this happened:

He took us to the greenhouse and showed us spots of brown mold that had begun creeping over the leaves on the tomato plants. “Ze tomatoes get sick sometimes,” he said. “It’s a big…how do you say…a big pr…”

A problem? I suggested in my mind, assuming that was the word he was looking for.

But then Emmanuel smiled and said, “Ah, project. It’s a big project.”

Every time you want to say the word ‘problem,’ say ‘project instead. Replacing this one word will change your whole life.

A project is a challenge. Something you can choose to tackle (or not).

A problem is a nuisance. Something you need to "make go away." It's not optional.

A project always offers multiple angles to be looked at from.

A problem feels like a thorn in your thigh: before you do anything, you have to talk yourself into trying to pull it out.

A project is a multi-level game. It has steps. You'll immediately look for milestones and how you can leverage what you already know.

A problem is a game you've already lost. You feel like you're at square one, and so that's where you start. You're not considering your assets.

A project has multiple stakeholders. There are always several parties involved and if you get it right, everyone wins.

A problem is yours and yours alone. "Why me?" It brings out your ego and makes you self-centered.

A project allows you to advance if completed successfully.

A problem can only get you back to zero once resolved.

No one ever says “heck yeah, I lost money on this business idea” or “heck yeah, I’ve got chronic back pain.” But you have to keep an open mind to deal with these things. If you look at them as challenges rather than problems, you’ll progress faster and calmer.

The people who have the most fun (and often the most success) look at the world like it’s one big game of Tetris. They see projects everywhere, choose the ones they care about, and then make the pieces fit.

Your entire life is dictated by your perspective. Whatever you choose to see is what you choose to get. You can see problems or you can see projects. Your move, chief.


PS: Did you know you can like and comment these posts on the archive page? Let’s discuss these ideas together!

About No Sense Friday: Most people live for Friday. Relaxing on the weekend is fine, but we can’t just waste it away every time. That’s why Friday is the most important day to call out things that make no sense. Because in a way, the concept of ‘Friday’ itself makes no sense.

A good life is lived every day, not just once a week.

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