Problems are Opportunities in Disguise


noun \ˈprä-bləm, -bəm, -ˌblem\

  • something that is difficult to deal with : something that is a source of trouble, worry, etc.
  • difficulty in understanding something
  • a feeling of not liking or wanting to do something
  • a question raised for inquiry, consideration, or solution
  • a proposition in mathematics or physics stating something to be done
  • an intricate unsettled question
  • a source of perplexity, distress, or vexation
  • difficulty in understanding or accepting <I have aproblem with your saying that>


noun \ˌä-pər-ˈtü-nə-tē, -ˈtyü-\

  • an amount of time or a situation in which something can be done
  • a favorable juncture of circumstances <the halt provided an opportunity for rest and refreshment>
  • a favorable juncture of circumstances <the halt provided an opportunity for rest and refreshment>
  •  a good chance for advancement or progress


EVERYONE complains but the hallmark of a change agent is that he or she recognizes the complaining and takes the next step to solve it. Just as answers come from questions, solutions only come from problems. A shift in paradigm is all that is needed for change to take place.

As we migrate to new socio-economic systems, a key feature of this shift is to recognize that all the problems we now face are the very foundation upon which we build new systems. Many leading edge entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room project recognize the transformation as the greatest business opportunity of this century.

Problems show up everywhere in our life. Everyday, we are faced with literally hundreds of problems of varying levels of importance and our lives consist of solving those problems. Sometimes, there are problems that are so big and that affect so many people that we feel there is nothing we can do about it.

Most of us just want to get on with life and though we may be affected by a problem, we never feel there’s anything we can do about it…except complain. You may complain to yourself or you may complain to others. We complain out of habit and we often don’t notice or remember it moments later. The difference between a changemaker and an ordinary person is that the changemaker NOTICES their own (and other’s) complaining. That noticing is the first step in doing something about the problem. The next step is to see if there is a possible solution. That step requires ingenuity.

By looking at the world from the perspective of a Changemaker,  a paradigm shift occurs. Where you may see a problem, the changemaker sees an opportunity that comes from providing a solution. A big problem also implies a big opportunity because a big problem is one that affects many people.  Hence, if you could find a solution to solve the problem, it makes a big impact….and that’s worth paying for.