July 14, 2019
The difference between problems and pains
Sent by Jonathan Stark on July 14th, 2019
Problems and pains are related but they are not the same thing.
A problem can exist in general. For example:
- Underfunded schools
- Distracted driving
- Opioid epidemic
Pains, on the other hand, do not exist in general. For example:
- A teacher who fears suspension for low test scores because so many students are crammed into each room that few get the attention they deserve
- A parent who is terrified their teen will be injured in a car accident by someone who is texting and driving
- A coffeeshop manager who is scared of getting stuck with an infected needle while taking out the garbage at the end of each shift
A problem is a relatively public situation that is generally regarded as bad. Lots of people can see it, but - perhaps paradoxically - not the right people (i.e., the ones who could/would do something about it).
A pain is something that a specific person has. The specific person feels the pain. They are aware of it, they don’t like it, and they want it gone. They might not know what to do about it, but they are anxious to do something.
Problems are floating around in the air.
Pains do not exist outside of a person.
Problems are easy to spot pretty much anywhere.
Pains are often invisible to the outside observer.
Problems are the domain of critics.
Pains are the domain of sufferers.
Problems are public.
Pains are private.
A pain is the intersection of a problem and a person. A single problem can express itself as different pains in different people. The problem of underfunded schools causes a different pains in a student than in a teacher… or in a parent or principal or governor or president or whoever else.
One underlying problem, hundreds of different pains.
Here’s the thing…
Do you want to be booked solid? Do you want to have a bigger impact? Do you want to increase what you are worth?
Find pains. And then alleviate them.