Last night, I couldn’t sleep.
I tried to, but no matter how many freaking sheeps I counted or how slow I tried to breathe, I couldn’t get myself to fall asleep. The Hong Kong milk tea I had drank earlier (which surprisingly has the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee does) that evening was a lot stronger than I had anticipated.
So what did I do?
I closed my eyes and let my thoughts flow.
As I laid there on the bed, wondering when my mind would finally tire out, I began to worry.
What if I don’t get any sleep at all? Would I not have the energy or motivation to work? Would I be in a shitty mood that’d impair me for the rest of the day?
I knew based on my previous experiences that I don’t do well when I don’t get enough sleep; I’d be too frustrated to do anything right and that in itself would ruin my entire day.
But as I thought about it longer, I came to realize that there’s no point in being upset over a problem you can’t control. If your mind is awake, it’s awake. You can whine and complain all you want but in the end, what good is it going to do for you? Nothing except make you feel worst.
So why not do something more…productive, given those ‘extra’ hours?
So instead I began meditating, turning any thoughts into deep private conversations with myself. I thought about my family, my next destination after Vietnam, how I can organize my day better, things I never had the time to really think about.
And surprisingly it felt good — to finally give myself time to think. Because right when I got up in the morning, I was pumped. I was motivated. I was ready to take on the day despite how exhausted my body and mind still felt.
It’s a weird feeling, you know, to be excited about your day when you have zero sleep. But to be fair, it’s better than feeling like shit from the beginning, ain’t it?
If there’s anything else I’d like for you to take away from this story, it’s this: Problems don’t always have to be treated like problems. Sometimes, problems can serve as an opportunity to help yourself learn, grow and adjust in a way that’d leave you better off than how you thought you would be. You just have to shift your mindset and understand that problems aren’t so bad if you make something good out of it.
As John Wooden once said, “Things work out best for people who make the best of how things work out.”
Where do you stand?