Sometimes when Miza came to me and telling me her problem or simply just complaining about her life in general, I usually will answer this.
"Are you sure your problem is that BIG? Have you tried to see that problem fairly? Go beyond yourself and have a good look of your problem one more time"
She will then look confuse in the beginning and ask me how she can see the problem beyond herself. Then I will explain to her that she needs to step outside herself and describe the problem outside her self. I told her to take a pencil and paper and start to write down her problem clearly. Describe what is the problem. List down the bad and good things about that problem for her self. Just write a simple story of the problem and what does she think she should do in order to solve that problem. Does she think she has to take some action to solve it or it is just simply a feeling that she has for that particular time. I basically ask her to write it out down and then read that aloud to herself or to myself if she wants too.
"Oh! that's what you mean by looking at my problem beyond myself!" she smiles to finally understand what I mean by that.
I also tell her when she feels the problem is too big, she has to go further beyond. Drag it all the way to her life on top of herself. Compare the problem to what she has in life, her hobby, her family, her favorite things in life, her beautiful country Singapore, her happy school, her fun-tastic friends etc.
If this still impossible to do ... go further beyond things around her ... the place she had visited in life. Compare her problem with the smell of croisant in Paris, the beautiful water color painting in venice, the magnificent Colloseum in Rome or even the beautiful garden in Al-Hambra. Compare it to the beautiful nature and flowers we see along the way on our road trip in New Zealand, or simply compare it to the fun she has in Disneyland.
If those are still impossible, compare it bigger, to our planet. What this planet has given us to live. See the sky, the ocean, the moon, the sun and ultimatelly the universe. Look at those uncountless number of stars in the universe, how many light years away we have to travel to even reach the end of our galaxy.
"Compare your problem with those you have in LIFE, things within your reach and things beyond your rich, and tell me .... how big your problem is?"
"Have you ever say thank you in the first place for all of those you have in life, things within your reach and things beyond your reach .....?"