Treating your problems like cancer

Here in the UK, the NHS recommends that women between fifty and seventy years old are screened for breast cancer every three years. Why? The NHS understands what problems are likely to arise in what populations, and at what ages. And they try to preempt them. They have guidelines and recommended frequencies for check ups to save themselves money, and to save us pain and discomfort.

We could take the same approach in our lives. Billions of people have blundered their way through this thing called life. Do you think that we all run into the same meta-problems? Do you think that we all have relationship issues, struggle with work, battle psychological demons, have health scares? You bet. Which means that, like a healthcare provider, we can figure out where the most common problems are most likely to occur, and at what time, and preempt them.

We can look for early signs of turbulence in our relationships and act on them before they tear us apart from one another. We can watch for signals of danger and decline in our personal and professional lives and prevent them. We can fight these things before they get too big to handle.

Problems are like cancers. Catch them too late and the best we can do is dampen the harshest effects and wait for them to do their worst. But catch them early and they’re remarkably easy, and often painless, to extricate from our lives.