Choosing Joy When Life is HARD: 5 Questions to Ask to Be the Boss of Problems

You are the boss of your life. However, you are not in control of what will happen in life. I believe without a doubt that the universe has big plans for you, plans for your good. That belief doesn’t waver knowing that there will days when the difficulties of life weigh will on you. Fear, sadness, and uncertainty come in the middle of the night waking us up. The sudden loss of a job, health issues, loss of a loved one, or a dream that you have to have a child that is still unfulfilled. All of these things happen to us. The weight of problems feels as if it could crush us, like an invisible granite boulder, cold and heavy. As if you are in a pit and dirt is thrown on top of you again and again and it dares you to get up. Every time you think of the problem the dirt gets thrown back in your face.

There were many days I woke up with this feeling or it came upon me as I went through the day as I went through my own struggles and major problems were sent my way. I wanted to hide or go back to bed or just cry. It felt like I could never escape that boulder pressing down on me, that problem in my face I couldn’t solve hurling dirt at me over and over again. But that is not the truth. The truth is we GROW out of the dirt.

Beautiful tulips, fragrant roses, and happy sunflowers all come from the earth, the dirt. We can only reach beyond our circumstances and create a life we love if we accept that the dirt will come and is a part of life. Life is HARD. It brings you problems. What you choose to do next is up to you. It is how you are the boss of your life. If you choose to lay down and suffer and let the dirt bury you, let the boulder crush you, you will become defeated and suffer in life. If you choose to accept that the problems will come your way and you can change how you look at them, you will get to be the boss.

Getting your problem out of your head and onto paper or talking it out can give you the opportunity to be the boss of your problems. Read below for 5 Questions to ask to Be the Boss of Problems.

5 Questions to Ask to Be the Boss of Problems

1.What is the problem?

2. Did I do anything that caused the problem? Could I have prevented the problem? (Just a note that blaming yourself or worrying really don’t help solve ANYTHING, even if the answer is Yes here-just think on it when you are considering solutions)

3. What am I feeling about this problem?

4. What are possible solutions to this problem?

5.What is one step I can take towards a solution?

Last October, I had a dull pain in my side for a few days that suddenly turned into a stabbing pain. I buckled over and finally went to the doctor at my mother’s request “before my appendix burst”. I sat in the Urgent Care for seven hours in extreme pain as the doctors tried to determine what was wrong. As I lay in the MRI machine I was terrified waiting for a diagnosis. Finally, I was diagnosed with a medical condition that would require surgery. So at last knowing what the problem was, I went through the questions like this.

What is the problem?

I’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition that requires surgery.

Did I do anything that caused the problem?


Could I have prevented the problem?


What are you feeling about this problem?

I’m scared and worried about how the surgery will impact our lives.

What are possible solutions to this problem?

I could find a specialist, get the best surgeon, make a plan to ask for help while recovering.

What is one step you can take towards a solution?

I can call my doctor for a referral, talk to work about medical leave, and ask family for help with recovery.

Writing it out, thinking it out, makes the problem manageable. It doesn’t make it go away. When we are stuck in our heads with worry and dread, it can suck our energy from focusing on what needs to get done or our capacity to actually do anything to take action.

Bosses don’t sit around hiding in their rooms or crying, they take action. You can be the boss by identifying your problems instead of worrying about them and taking action on one small step to address it. Problems won’t go away. Dirt will keep coming and boulders will weigh in. But you are the one who chooses to take action and grow in adversity.

Use these 5 Questions to Ask to Be the Boss of Problems on your own by writing out the answers or talk with your spouse, a friend, or family member using this tool. Seek out a professional counselor if you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Real bosses delegate!

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