“Problem” is not a negative word

When I was a kid, one of my teacher was always telling us “There is no problem, there are only solutions”. I think he wanted us to stop complaining about our so called problems.

This quote was originally used first by a french writer named André Gide:

There is no problem; there are only solutions. Man’s spirit then creates the problem. He sees problems everywhere. (André Gide)

Here is the original version in french:
Today, this quote is better known taken from John Lennon’s song “Watching The Wheels“:
There’s no problems, only solutions. (John Lennon)

The idea behind this sentence is to turn the word problem, which seems to be something negative at first, into something positive. This way, we feel more engaged in the process of solving the actual problem.

The ugly fact of having a problem evolves in a challenge to find the solution. The word problem becomes something you are excited about.


I really started to see the importance of seeing the word “problem” as something positive when I started to work as an Engineer. Indeed, working as an Engineer you are facing a lot of problems. You job is basically to find a way to resolve complex problematic/problems. So if you see the word “problem” as something negative, you life becomes very miserable and you don’t feel like going to work.

Before starting my first job, I wanted to avoid problems and focus on other tasks not involving problem solving. Ironically I started to work as a support Network Engineer; and I started finding solutions. Then I met other Engineers with a lot more experience than me. They were really good at their job and they were still solving problems and finding solutions. Learning from them, I realized that working on problems was the best way to get better at your job.

I quickly changed my state of mind and saw any problem that I was facing like an opportunity. For me it became a challenge I wanted to master. It made my job much more interesting.

With time, I have found that you can learn a lot while solving a problem. The fact of finding the solution also makes you feel good. The harder it is, the happier you are going to be!

I have also found that if you solve problems in a positive way, you will become more willing to help other people solving their problems.

All of this worked out for my first job but it also works in everything that you do in your life. So please, embrace any problems and turn them around into an opportunity. The outcome will be positive for you. It will also make your life better and less miserable ;)!

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