There are only two themes in the human narrative: Struggle and progress. Progress rarely happens without some struggle. So while uncomfortable, struggles are necessary.
When struggles arise, you can meet them with any number of unhelpful emotional responses: stress, disappointment, anger, frustration, sadness, etc. And while you are likely focused on the struggle itself, it is important to understand that how you relate to any issue IS the issue.
Awareness and understanding of how you relate to an issue are important parts of navigating it. So when struggles unfold, PHGIT about it! (Uhh, what?) P.H.G.I.T are the five questions to ask and answer to help shift from the unhelpful emotional responses into a more productive mindset.
Question 1 (P): Is this a PROBLEM, or a PUZZLE?
Most of the things we call “problems” we can instead view as “puzzles.” Becoming homeless or having some kind of chemical dependency or addiction are problems. Losing a big client or even your job, your roof blowing off of your home or getting divorced are all puzzles about how to move forward in a way that is in your highest service. Knowing the difference between problems and puzzles goes a long way in helping you deal with them with equanimity. 
Question 2 (H): What is HAPPENING right now?
Answering this question brings you fully into the present moment. It facilitates the release of any memory of the past that might be affecting your perspective, as well as any future fantasy projections or extrapolations. Being fully present in the now clears away unnecessary mind noise that adds clutter and confusion to the issue.
Question 3 (G): For what am I GRATEFUL?
It is absolutely impossible to be stuck in unhelpful emotions when you bring yourself into a place of gratitude. Even in times of struggle, be they problems or puzzles, chances are you still have much for which to be grateful. You might even consider being grateful for struggles themselves as without them it is unlikely there will be progress.
Question 4 (I): What is my INTENTION?
Getting clear on what you want is crucial. If you don’t have a clear, specific, positive intention, you cannot give it the necessary attention. Focus on what it is you want, not what you don’t. Keep your eye on the prize!
Question 5 (T): What THOUGHTS (and/or actions) can I entertain that are supportive of my intention?
Sometimes you might get stuck in limiting beliefs, negative self-talk or competing intentions, so it’s important to make sure that your thoughts and actions are all in alignment with your intentions. If the puzzle you’re dealing with is that you lost an important client, and your intention is to acquire a new one, wasting energy thinking about how unreasonable the client who left is, or telling yourself that you blew it, does not serve your intention.
The next time you are facing an issue, PHGIT about it! How you relate to the issue IS the issue and as such it is an opportunity for increased awareness, understanding and progress. Ask these five questions and see how answering them changes your experience. And feel free to share your experience on Facebook!
It’s your kingdom. Make it REIGN.
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About the Author -

Executive coach and motivational speaker Chris M. King facilitates the mind shift necessary for professionals and organizations to achieve authentic success and empowerment. Clients experience productivity increases of up to 40%, freedom from burnout and overwhelm, clarity in times of transition, dramatically improved work/life balance, answers to "what's next," creative solutions for innovation, and an overall increase in satisfaction in career and in life. And he does all of this without ever giving advice! Chris doesn't show them THE way. He guides them in finding THEIR way. An emerging thought leader in the men's movement, Chris also works with professional men and women on accountability, vulnerability, and empowerment. He specifically addresses the issues associated with mid-life crises and Peter Pan Syndrome. He is a volunteer for ManKind Project International, a contributing author to The Good Men Project and Elephant Journal, and is honored to be working with Sam Morris as a contributor to Zen Warrior Training®, helping people achieve self-mastery. Chris is also a coach at Project Bully Buster, coaching teens as they navigate the challenges of adolescence. He is honored to work with and support organizations dedicated to the men’s movement, to women's issues, and, as brother to a special needs sister, the US Special Olympics. Chris is currently working on his first book.

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