So You Think You Have A Problem? Do You Really or Should You check Your Perspective?

by Jayne Kopp on June 6, 2011

have a problem,

You have a problem?

So you think you have a problem… but do you? I mean, have you ever taken the time to consider what a real problem in life looks like…and have you taken the time to check your perspective?

I wrote a post the other day…about handling life changes; the type of changes that send us for a loop and knock us to the ground.

My primary message in that post was to encourage you to look for the “good” in your painful challenges. I also suggested if approached with a positive mindset, these unexpected life changes can be “life lessons” instead… and open the doors to new and improved opportunities.

I shared with you my heart wrenching life change, my divorce, and droned on about how I felt my life had spiraled down the proverbial toilet with no light at the end of the tunnel. :-(

I then explained that by deciding to make the best out of a bad situation, I have been able to open many new doors that I had never considered.

I will admit at the end of the day, while I would prefer to avoid similar experiences, my life has improved because of it in many ways I could have never imagined.

While I stand by my message on making the best out of everything, even adversity…I thought it was important to expand on this topic.

I do, and will always recognize many challenges can be painful and upsetting, however the purpose of today’s post is to simply act as a reminder of the importance of keeping things in perspective during the times we feel we have a problem.

I was prompted to write on this topic due to having met a very special lady who can show you what a real problem looks like.

Her name is Peppy, and not only is she a master of handling immense change and problems in life; she is an amazing roll model to all of us who occasionally feel we have a problem when things hit us out of the blue. You can learn more about Peppy here.

Peppy candidly shares her experiences through her blog while battling with ALS and has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, resulting in a mastectomy.

If that’s not enough, to add insult to injury, she is now supporting her younger sister who is recovering from a serious motorcycle accident resulting in the loss of her left leg.

She emphasizes the value of family and loved ones and shares her relationship with her wonderful husband “Gene” and how they overcome their obstacles together.

Peppy has chosen to enjoy life and learn from her experiences and share life lessons and is another example of a person who exudes personal strength and gratitude despite dealing with issues most of us can only imagine.

So often I find we (humans) get caught up in petty inconveniences and tend to sweat the small stuff and feel we have a problem when really most of the things we complain or focus on don’t matter a darn!

Oh, woe can be us at times and we can feel as though the world is crashing down simply because we get up on the wrong side of the bed, have too much laundry, or get a run in our nylon or break the crystal decanter handed down from great, great Aunt Sally.

Again, I’m not meaning to minimize the fact that some of life’s problems do knock us for a six and they do weigh on us often break our hearts just as mine did.

Nor am I saying there is anything wrong with feeling down, upset or shattered when life hits us hard… we are all human after all, but I feel it does us good to put things in perspective when our emotions get the better of us.

Many times we find the law of relativity comes into play and we don’t have a problem at all in the big scheme of things.

I am sure that once you meet Peppy, you might take a look at your own situation and question if you really DO have a problem… regardless of what might be pulling you down from time to time.

Reading Peppy’s chronicles also forces us to realize that even during those times we’re feeling low, there are many people who would swap problems and trade places with us if they could.

Though her blog she shares her innermost thoughts and “more than common sense” outlook, not for sympathy, but rather to help others in the same situation and help us support and sympathize with those who need us.

She has a gentle yet to the point gift of reminding the rest of us to count our blessings and to live life to the fullest while we can and remember to be grateful for little things such as ‘blossoms in the mirror’. (A must read post by the way ;-) )

While I truly feel we do need to make the best of problems in life, or life changes, I also feel keeping a clear perspective and being aware of the many people who don’t have a choice in life will prevent us from throwing a pity party and recognize how fortunate we are to be able to do so.

Please take the time to pop over to Peppy’s blog. I know you find it time well spent, admire her strength and outlook, but most importantly, you will learn from her and likely have an attitude adjustment the next time you feel you have a problem. Furthermore, you might even choose to turn lemons to lemonade instead.

Thanks Peppy for having the tenacity and courage to share yourself with the rest of us.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon June 13, 2011 at 7:36 pm


First off – thanks for the reference to Peppy for some perspective on things.

Secondly, I know that I’m quite fortunate and we should all feel blessed in some way. There is always another out there less fortunate than us who would chuckle at our “problems.”

Aside from comparing to others (not always healthy), it IS how we view our situation. Life is 10% event and 90% our reaction to it. Choose happiness.



Jayne Kopp June 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm

HI Jon, how right you are. I agree it is not always healthy to compare ourselves to others. Not if they are in a better position… or in a worse position. I think it is healthy to ‘check’ our attitude at the door sometimes though when we meet admirable people who are reacting to their situation in the correct manner in the times when we may not be quite as good as we should at doing so.

I feel very blessed too. I am glad you to as well.



Marcus Baker June 11, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Hi Jayne,

I loved reading your post and all the follow up comments too. You can be sure I’ll be off to read Peppy’s blog after this. :)

I believe that suffering is our best spiritual teacher and if we embrace it as such rather than be a victim to it, we benefit a great deal more. This is what people like Peppy and others are doing rather than feeling sorry for themselves.

She is a shining light to us all but we can all shine in the same way no matter what the brand and intensity of our own suffering might be when we transform our suffering into something useful.


PS: I left you a rather intetntional reply to your comment on my post on Elmar’s blog. Thought I’d just let you know in case you missed it. :)


Jayne Kopp June 12, 2011 at 12:10 pm

HI Marcus, thanks for coming over to meet Peppy. I am sure you will find her even more amazing once you read her blog and how she has ‘chosen’ to turn her challenging situation into a strong message for the rest of us.

I knew you would appreciate this post to be honest.

I didn’t see your response to my comment on Elmars Blog yet, but I will run over and have a look. I am looking forward to it! :-)

Thanks Marcus once again for stopping by and adding value to my post as always.



Kesha @small business website design June 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Oh Jayne, you’re speaking my soul’s language now – law of relativity, intention, and perspective!

As a matter of fact, one of my favorite quotes is: “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change.”

I can’t wait to create the post about this quote that I had been meaning to for a while now on my personal blog (once it’s redesigned) and will use your post as a resource!



Jayne Kopp June 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm

HI Kesha, I am so pleased this hit your ‘soul’s language’… really it’s not surprise to me.

One of my quotes is also Dr. Wayne Dyers …and I mentioned it in my last post

Funny how often those with whom we feel a connection are attracted to the same things!

Thanks Kesha for stopping by, I hope you will have the time to check out Peppy’s blog.

Talk soon.


ps: I am looking forward to the post you write. I will keep my eyes open. These posts are so satisfying to write.


Elmar Sandyck June 9, 2011 at 5:02 am

Hi Jayne!

Thanks for leading me to Peppy’s site. I just read her “Blossoms in the Mirror” post and it’s an eye-opener. Referred the site to a friend of mine who’s also battling with breast cancer.

This post of yours is really a good follow-through article to your earlier post. This time, though, you’re making us all see the good things out of something “bad.” Like you said, it’s all about the way you see things – a new perspective.

True, things do look differently under a different light. :)


Jayne Kopp June 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm

HI Elmar, so lovely to see you. Was the Blossoms in the Mirror post so wonderful? It really touched me. I hope you will refer your friend to Peppy. Sometimes seeing how others handle similar situations are so helpful to those who are feeling down.

Sometimes it is difficult to see ‘the other light’ but one we get on the right track and adjust our mindset, we can see the positives easier.

Wonderful to see you Elmar.




Janet @ The Natural Networker June 8, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Jayne, aloha. Thx so much for the introduction to the amazing Peppy. What an inspiration she is.

It is amazing, Jayne, is it not how the same thing can happen to two different people yet how they respond is entirely different? And, of course, depending on that response is what continues to happen for them.

This quote of Maya Angelou’s has long been one of my favorites:

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change … If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

While there might be some semantic slight distinctions, attitude, perspective and reframing are much the same. What’s important to remember is that it is up to you how you view a situation and what action you take.

Thank you so much for this beautiful post, Jayne. Aloha. Janet

P.S. Oftentimes people wish for the “good old days” when they think they remembered things happened a certain way. In reality, Jayne, what they are usually remembering is a few high points and they have blurred everything else in their memory that does not fit with the picture they want.


Jayne Kopp June 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Hi Janet, thanks for your awesome response. I like that quote of Mya’s too. It is very accurate.

Peppy has definitely developed a remarkable attitude. She amazes me. I feel to blessed to have met her and learned from her strength.

It is definitely upto us how we handle things. Just making the decision to handle things in a positive light does wonders for how we feel.

About remembering a few high points, yes you are likely right. Ups and downs happen all the time. I remember my galloping wildly across a field on Limbo, but I am sure that is not the ‘only’ thing going on in my life at that time.

I must say thought I love remembering the high points. Enough high points makes for wonderful memories.

Lovely to see you Janet and thanks for adding to our conversation as always.




Tisha June 8, 2011 at 10:12 am

Hi Jayne,

Peppy is a tough cookie. My prayers goes out to her and her family. The trick to over coming bad situations is your perspective (you are right Jane). Peppy found the secret to handling her situation, which is being thankful for all he good things she has in her life (gratitude) and not dwelling on bad situation that they are in.

My grandmother use to tell me, “there is always someone worse of than me, so be thankful for all the good that is in your life.”



Jayne Kopp June 8, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Hi Tisha, yes Peppy definitely is strong and has amazing courage.

She inspires me so much to grasp every moment of every day by her bright and kind outlook.

There is always someone worse than we and that is why this message can never be heard enough.

Thanks for stopping by.



Ryan Biddulph June 8, 2011 at 5:39 am

Hi Jayne,

The more people I read about who go thru all types of stuff the more I realize we are revealed to our True Selves only by experiencing all sorts of tough situations.

Thanks for sharing the inspiration!



Jayne Kopp June 8, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Hi Ryan, lovely to see your smiling face. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. You are right, does it not make you realize how much we learn about ourselves when we ‘feel’ the experiences of others.

Thanks Ryan, you are truly amazing. I have been keeping tabs on you. I attempted to leave a comment the other day, but I had real challenges being able to.

I am still getting to ‘that’ project I mentioned to you. I just have to complete the ones on my plate one step at a time. It is in the works soon thought.




Jane | Blogging Tips June 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Hey Jayne,

So true, every time a problem arises the whole situation can be approached in at least 2 ways. And there can be more ways, most of the times. It all depends on what stand we take and how we approach the issue.

Changing the perspective alone will always solve problems 90% of the times, without we having to take any action.

Great post Jayne.



Jayne Kopp June 7, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Hi Jane, I agree that our stand on the issue makes the world of difference. sometimes, it is also good to sit still on things too. I know for myself I can get wound up over something daft… but if I chill on it for a while, it really doesn’t seem bad after all.

When compared to Peppy’s challenges, nothing seems worth bothering about.

Thanks for your comment.



Dr. Bob Clarke June 7, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Thanks Jayne, for sharing Peppy’s story. I’ll be sure to head over to her blog right after I finish this comment.

You’re so write about changing perspectives. It’s a technique I often use in my business and my life — it’s called reframing and it’s the same as changing perspectives. It means changing your frame of reference and seeing things a little differently.

For example, getting into a minor car crash can be a huge inconvenience, calling the police, filing a claim with your insurance company, and having to rent a car while your own is in the shop getting fixed.

But reframe that, change your perspective and thank God that you weren’t hurt in that accident. Thank God that you aren’t the one lying comatose in intensive care with no brain activity. You’ll change your perspective fast when you do this exercise.

Love the way you weave stories into you blog, Jayne. It makes it always a fun place to visit!


Jayne Kopp June 7, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Thanks so much Bob for your nice comment. YOu are so right. it’s ‘perspective’ there is so much good to focus on so why do we weird little creatures often tend to lean towards the negative?

I agree completely with your analogies.

I am pleased you went off to check Peppy’s blog. I believe we can all take a leaf out of her book.

thanks Bob,



Sarah Russell June 7, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Jayne – What a beautiful resource you’ve shared in Peppy’s blog, and what a great reminder for us all to keep things in perspective. It’s amazing how often we blow things out of proportion when there are so many things we should be grateful for.

So thanks for the reminder to keep minor annoyances in check – it’s something I need to hear every now and again :)


Jayne Kopp June 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Hi Sarah, I think ‘most’ of us need help in keeping minor annoyances in their place to be honest. We are human after all and know what we know, hence it is a real eye opener to keep things in balance when we meet people like Peppy.

thanks so much for coming by. It is lovely to see you again. I am not sure if we just kept missing each other, or if you have been busy for a while?

Take care



Melody | Deliberate Receiving June 7, 2011 at 11:05 am

What an awesome insight Jayne and thanks so much for introducing us to Peppy. I often find, especially when I travel, that people and communities who’ve had the hardest lives and have the most to complain about (from our perspective), seem to complain the least. It’s like they appreciate the few things they do have, a lot more. They count their blessings and have learned to shift their focus from what they don’t have to what they do have.
It think that’s the most valuable lesson. No one can tell you what you should or shouldn’t feel bad about, in fact, it could be quite annoying to tell someone who’s car’s just been stolen that they should be happy they even had a car. It’s like your parents trying to get you to eat something green and icky as a child, by telling you that the children in china are starving, ;) But pointing out the positives in someones’ life, which are also relative and therefore fit into the perspective of the problem (i.e. your car’s been stolen? It’s a good thing you have insurance…), always works, providing the person is open to feeling better.

What an awesome post.



Jayne Kopp June 7, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Hi again Melody, lovely to see you here.

It is so true that often when people have little, or… are in situations like Peppy, they truly appreciate the smaller things in life much more.

It really is a lot about perspective. As you state in your analogies, it is also if we are open to being flexible or seeing things in the different light.

I am looking forward to revisiting you at your blog. I was over there, I can’t remember if I left a comment. I was just snooping getting to know you. My memory is excellent, however it is very short! I am so glad you came back to give me the nudge to reacquaint!




Jayne Kopp June 7, 2011 at 10:42 am

HI Adrienne, thank you so much for your kindness and compliments.

If there is one thing I know about you Adrienne, is that YOU get it… and you have it figured out.

You shared your story with me a few months ago, and the details of your dads struggles. These are details I have an amazing memory for, so every time I read your blog or interact, I feel I know you’re heart.

You have such a balanced common sense outlook. You are so refreshing.

Your dad was a wonderful person by the sounds of it, and very sensible and balanced too. He has obviously rubbed off on you.

I am pleased you feel as though some of my writing might act as a reminder. I think we are always students of learning to improve perspective. (me included). I guess that is why I have the passion to write some of the things I do as well… as a reminder that life is a gift and we must enjoy it and let things go.

Thanks so much Adrienne. See you soon.



Peppy | The PeppyWrites Chronicles June 7, 2011 at 9:30 am

Dear Jayne,

Wow .. I’m reading through tears – something I don’t often “allow” myself – I am so incredibly touched by your article!!

I’ve been afraid that anyone reading my blog would feel I’m being exploitative of my life … questioning why I would share such personal things.

You have calmed that fear through your beautiful, and eloquent, expressions in this post … you clearly discern why I write about my life – it’s not that I want to focus on “me,me,me” as much as what I’m learning on this journey as well as the incredible family/friends/people in my life!

And, hey, when I was reading the comment you left for me I could only think, “man, for never meeting “my Gene” you certainly pegged him right!” He is my hero – he is what keeps me wanting to keep up the fight to live … I tell him he can’t get rid of me that easy. :)

Jayne, thank you for this gift, yes, I consider this a gift, and I am genuinely moved by the interest and compassion you have shown!

I hope you’re day will be as great as the one you gave me!



Jayne Kopp June 7, 2011 at 10:04 am

Hi Peppy, Aww… I am so glad I was able to contribute to making your day. You certainly deserve it and the pleasure was all mine.

To tell you the truth, from the moment I stepped foot on your blog (so to speak) I understood your purpose. I actually ‘got it’ immediately… so never feel as though you are coming across self centered. Quite the opposite.

I am so pleased you have a wonderful man in your life. It is very apparent the type of person Gene is. God love him! :-)

I also enjoy hearing about your siblings… I have a pretty clear picture of their personalities too. All portrayed through your awesome writing.

I appreciate you very much Peppy. You are a true gift to all of us.

BTW… I know how you feel about not allowing yourself to have a good cry. I’m the same these days although I used to cry at everything. I think it’s a subconscious thing that happens when we strengthen.

I say, let it out. It’s good to get rid of that pent up energy.

I look forward to seeing you soon.




Gregory McGuire June 7, 2011 at 4:07 am

Hi Jayne,

I can so relate to what you’re talking about here. Just yesterday, I had some important work to do online. It HAD to be completed by a certain time. But, the internet was down.

All these selfish thoughts presented themselves. Why does this stuff always happen to me? I never seem to catch a break. The Universe has it out for me.

Then, a guy walked into my office. After we talked a little, I learned he had stage 4 cancer, lost 4 fingers from his right hand in Iraq, and his wife had drowned in a boating accident last Summer.

Problems? I have no problems. My life is full of sunshine and petty annoyances.

Thanks for the eye opener, Jayne. Keep up the good work!



Jayne Kopp June 7, 2011 at 10:06 am

Hi Gregory, I have had ‘those’ days too. I think we often look back and think how unreasonable we are afterwards, particularly when meeting people like Peppy.

Unfortunately Gregory, I think it’s the human condition and takes constant maintenance.

The important thing is though that we do recognize it and have perspective shifts occasionally.

Thanks for stopping by.



Steve Nicholas June 6, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Great post, Jayne! What I think is amazing about the questions of difficult things in life is how many times the thing that we think is unthinkable opens us up to an even better thing down the horizon. I haven’t had the chance to check out Peppy’s blog yet, but I can’t wait to see what happens when I see how she looks at the life of her battle and how she’s able to inspire others.


Jayne Kopp June 7, 2011 at 10:07 am

Hi Steve, yes it is amazing how there is often good in the unthinkable.

I am sure you will find Peppy to be an amazing person. She certainly shares from the heart and gives us all a clear perspective. We all need that occasionally.

Thanks for stopping by Steve. Talk soon.



Oliver Tausend June 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Hi Jayne,

what a wonderful post, I fully agree with Adrienne.

If it’s a problem money can fix, it’s not a problem – as the old saying goes.

With that being said, I embrace the law of relativity. We will always find someone who is worse off than we. That can calm our mind, but it also can create resistence and apathy because we’re not hit that bad, so we don’t do the necessary steps to change our lives.

If I were broke and someone else had cancer, I wouldn’t want to change places with them of course, but how is their cancer related to my financial situation ?

Thanks for sharing your insights.

Take care



Jayne Kopp June 7, 2011 at 10:09 am

Hi Oliver, Thanks so much for your compliment on the post.

I know what you are saying when we sometimes feel ‘our situation’ is not that bad, hence we do not take the steps to improve.

I think we need to take steps every day and keep the Law of relativity at the forefront of our minds ALL the time, particularly when we feel we are badly done to.

Thanks for stopping by Oliver.




Samantha Bangayan June 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm

YES! This is what I needed to here, Jayne, thank you! In fact, I get hit with similar moments when I walk outside and see or hear about the hard life of many who live in the rural communities around the city here in Huancayo. I have so much to be grateful for. I don’t want to be desensitized to it, so that (1) I can have the compassion to help when I can and (2) I can continue to be reminded of how beautiful my life already is.

Thanks so much for *your* reminder and for sharing Peppy’s story, Jayne!


Jayne Kopp June 7, 2011 at 10:11 am

Hi Samantha, lovely to see you.

I think we all need reminders all the time.

Most of us do have beautiful lives but are often too silly to see it when we get off on tangents about all the ‘problems’ we ‘think’ we have.

Keep up the great outlook Samantha. Wonderful to see you.



Adrienne June 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Hi Jayne, wonderful post.

I can relate so much to what you’ve said here and I have had the privilege of reading Peppy’s blog as well. What an amazing lady and a very talented writer as well. She’s someone to definitely look up to.

Although my situation is nothing compared to what Peppy has dealt with, I understand exactly what you are saying here. My Dad fought cancer for 42 years and there were several surgeries we thought he wouldn’t make it. So when I would call him up and start complaining about something he would shut me down real quick. He would always say, “Adrienne, I can’t believe you are complaining about something so insignificant. You could be laying up in a hospital bed dying of cancer so what are you complaining about”? I would always tell him, “can’t I just have 1 minute of feeling sorry for myself? He would say, “minutes up”!

You know, he was SO right. Which is why I have learned to live life to the fullest and don’t let the small stuff bother me. It’s not that we don’t have a right to get upset or let things bother us from time to time but just take a step back, look at what you do have and all the people who love you. Your mind will change quickly.

Thanks for this Jayne, I really did enjoy reading this one. You bring up such real topics here at your place. Ones I really enjoy reading and they continue to help me with my reality check from time to time. My Dad’s gone so I can no longer give him a call.

Thanks again,



Jayne Kopp June 7, 2011 at 10:42 am

HI Adrienne, thank you so much for your kindness and compliments.

If there is one thing I know about you Adrienne, is that YOU get it… and you have it figured out.

You shared your story with me a few months ago, and the details of your dads struggles. These are details I have an amazing memory for, so every time I read your blog or interact, I feel I know you’re heart.

You have such a balanced common sense outlook. You are so refreshing.

Your dad was a wonderful person by the sounds of it, and very sensible and balanced too. He has obviously rubbed off on you.

I am pleased you feel as though some of my writing might act as a reminder. I think we are always students of learning to improve perspective. (me included). I guess that is why I have the passion to write some of the things I do as well… as a reminder that life is a gift and we must enjoy it and let things go.

Thanks so much Adrienne. See you soon.



Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: