Do you have a Problem?

A small town chamber of commerce invited a speaker to address its annual dinner. The community’s economy was bad, people were discouraged, and they wanted this motivational speaker to give them a boost.

During her presentation, the speaker took a large piece of white paper and made a small black dot in the center of it with a marking pen. Then she held the paper up before the group and ask them what they saw.

One person quickly replied, “I see a black dot.”

“Okay, what else do you see?”

Others joined in agreement : “A black dot.”

“Don’t you see anything besides the dot? she asked.

A resounding “No came from the audience.

“What about the sheet of paper?” asked the speaker.

“I am sure you have all seen it, she said, “But you have chosen to overlook it.”

“In life, we also tend to overlook and take for granted many wonderful things that we have or happen around us and focus our attention and energy on small, dot like failures and disappointments. The so called problems”

that we have are usually like the black dot on the paper. They are small and insignificant if we can widen our horizon and look at the whole


Are you one of the person who focus your attention and energy on dot-like problems?

27 Responses to Do you have a Problem?

  1. Jola Animashaun May 2, 2014 at 2:00 PM #

    That’s why it’s said that:
    When life give you ‘LIMES’
    Rearrange it to give you ‘SMILES’

  2. Tonia March 9, 2014 at 10:49 PM #

    I love this and others that I’ve read because they are very inspiring. I use them a lot in encouraging friends too.

  3. fathima August 23, 2013 at 10:59 AM #

    identify the dot (problem) on paper( in life) and erase (solve) it and then draw flowers (solutions) on same paper.

  4. Roderick May 26, 2013 at 7:33 PM #

    I will try to make each day a piece of paper that is big and a black dot that is small!
    My dog is mr peel.

  5. Roderick May 26, 2013 at 7:33 PM #

    I will try to make each day a piece of paper that is big and a black dot that is small!
    My dog is mr peel.

    • Ali - Admin May 29, 2013 at 7:45 PM #

      You seem to be very fond of your dog 🙂

  6. ADEGOKE WAHAB April 12, 2013 at 7:23 PM #

    sara, thank you for improving me religiously

    • Ali - Admin April 16, 2013 at 6:35 PM #

      Welcome Wahab.

  7. Sonah January 5, 2013 at 3:42 PM #

    You end u p seeing t you want to see, nothing else. Also the dot could represent the focus required to have a better assessment and appreciation of a problem.Often time we slip into generalisation, ignoring altogether the main issue.

  8. skybeen September 30, 2012 at 9:11 PM #

    to advice some one with examples is very easy but to act upon is very difficult

  9. Mohamoud September 22, 2012 at 12:36 AM #

    We dont look at things the way THEY are, we look at them the way WE are. Always look at the bright side of the problems, coz it has a lot of lessons u can learn from, so in the future, it will be easy to deal with it, if u get in to it.

    • Sara - Admin September 23, 2012 at 2:24 PM #

      Rightly said Mahamoud.

  10. syeda September 18, 2012 at 10:27 PM #

    how can i share ths wid my frnz ??
    instead of tweet, or fb >>??

    • Sara - Admin September 23, 2012 at 2:23 PM #

      You can use the email option at the end of the story.

  11. Najeeb September 18, 2012 at 2:13 PM #


  12. Zafar Iqbal September 18, 2012 at 6:38 AM #

    Than you Ian. For making this more funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Zafar Iqbal September 18, 2012 at 6:38 AM #


    Typical ungrateful humans!

    We always miss the woods for the trees!!!!!!

  14. Mubarek AL-Amin September 18, 2012 at 3:54 AM #

    yeaH when we in the life problem puzzle we can always pluk a hair of your arms.. and you find a solution.

  15. Hussain R Haji September 18, 2012 at 3:14 AM #

    Hi Sara, the speaker was smart to short cut her presentation rather than make it complicated as she was trying optimisticly to give some hope to her audience and boost up their moral and spirit. but in reality and as we all know the financial crises is not so simple ( but agree with you as you mentioned some has to be always optimistic in his life and not to surrender him self in time of difficulty)

  16. Shakir Ullah September 17, 2012 at 10:02 PM #

    Black dot has many meanings and it is concieved by people in different ways & with different perceptions, if it is on one`s face like black mole a sign of attraction, on dress a spot and on any white surface more visible and can be focused well . A dot has no visibility in the matching colours but more prominent in different colours and contrast situation

  17. Ian September 17, 2012 at 5:50 PM #

    Speaker : What did you saw
    Dumbo’s Answer : Honourable lady used a marker to make a dot on a white sheet of Paper. (at the center) 🙂

    • sk ashif September 18, 2012 at 2:58 PM #

      Ha! ha! very funny!

  18. sk ashif September 17, 2012 at 3:14 PM #

    Very nice, but sometimes these are not dots, the whole white paper sometimes turns black.

  19. Sonah September 17, 2012 at 3:08 PM #

    You are right. Life is like this. One easily notices the dot on an otherwise pretty face. So it is with our mother, who has the divine responsibility of bringing us into this world, goes through untold hardship and sacrifices to assure us a proper and normal upbringing. And on petty issues we tend to fall apart with her.
    Sadly this is how life is. Modern life in particular.

  20. An arab September 17, 2012 at 1:15 PM #

    Sometimes we waste our time looking for white dots, if there are any.

  21. Zubair September 17, 2012 at 12:59 PM #

    If I was there with the people I would say a black dot and a paper sheet.

  22. sharif123 September 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM #

    Great Sara. Difficult to stay away from looking black dot.