Dealing with the Daily Troubles and Challenges in Life


The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving, he invited me to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

“Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied. “I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and children. So, I just hang them on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.”

He paused. “Funny thing is,” he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”

What do we learn from this story?

The essence of this story carries a deep spiritual insight, revealing the transformative power of perspective and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of day-to-day problems.

The fact is that troubles and challenges are an unavoidable part of human existence. However, the story beautifully illustrates the power of conscious choice and the transformative nature of our perceptions. The carpenter’s ritual of hanging his troubles on the tree symbolizes a powerful spiritual practice — a practice of releasing burdens and reclaiming inner peace.

His act of leaving his troubles outside, separated from the sanctuary of his home, embodies a spiritual principle that emphasizes the importance of creating sacred spaces within our lives, spaces that nurture love, harmony and peace. It signifies the conscious decision to not let the outside problems invade the sanctity of our homes.

Moreover, his revelation that the troubles seem lighter in the morning resonates with another truth — that when we sleep over the previous day’s troubles, they have lesser impact on us. It shows a positive mindset. By detaching ourselves from worries and troubles, they lose their hold over us, allowing space for resolution and growth.

This story reminds us of our innate capacity to choose how we respond to life’s challenges. It helps us to navigate the ebb and flow of life’s troubles with grace and resilience. It encourages us to change what we can and the serenity to accept what we cannot change, fostering an inner space undisturbed by the external chaos.

It also helps us to view adversities not as an insurmountable burden but as an opportunity for spiritual growth and transformation. It helps us to let go, releasing the burden of worries and reclaiming our inner peace.

In the carpenter’s ritual, we discover a powerful spiritual lesson — one that encourages us to transcend the limitations of our circumstances by choosing where to direct our focus and effort. It helps us understand that amidst life’s challenges, lies the potential for a higher spiritual evolution.

We need to realize that there’s a power within ourselves, that no matter what life throws at us — and it will throw a lot of stuff at us — we have the ability to overcome them.

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1 Comment

  1. Chhaya Mukherjee

    Dealing with daily troubles is an eye opener to many like me.Thank you Swamiji.

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