Learn to Distinguish between an Inconvenience and a Problem

Share This Post


*Learn to Distinguish between an Inconvenience and a Problem*

I recently read a remarkable story which helped me to put my life into perspective.

It was a story about a lady who had suffered the trauma of breast cancer over a number of years.

Her final comment in the article was a gem… “I finally learnt to distinguish between an inconvenience and a problem. An inconvenience is when you wake up in the morning to find a lump in your porridge.

A problem is when you find a lump in your breast.

– Source: Readers Digest 1983

Why spend your time stewing over insignificant issues and inconveniences, when in the scheme of life, they are meaningless.

Thirty years ago, Robert Fulghum published a simple credo—a credo that became the phenomenal #1 New York Times bestseller titled ‘All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.’ The book is spun with Fulghum’s musings on life, death, love, pain, joy, sorrow and where to find the best chicken-fried steak in the USA.  It’s brimming with the very stuff of life and the significance found in the smallest details. 

Somehow, it brings some peace to the chaotic world we live in.

 I became a fan of Fulghum and embraced his thinking and philosophy into my own life.  One of my favorite quotes is from his book,’Some Observations From Both Sides Of The Refrigerator Door.’ 

It has helped me throughout the years deal with the roller coaster of life. 

“One of life’s best coping mechanisms is to know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire – then you’ve got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference.” ― Robert Fulghum,

Life is just inherently messy and fragile, and the same goes for businesses. 

Nothing is perfect. 

Every day as you face the challenges of business and life, the ability to distinguish between what is inconvenient vs what is a problem is a critical skill to leadership success. 

If everything is a problem, nothing is a problem, and pretty soon the system and the people in it implode. 

This too shall pass,

Life is an inconvenience

Put your difficulties into perspective, don’t Major in minor things and stay blessed forever.