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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Using Challenges to Grow, Instead of Fighting Problems to Overcome


When you consider a problem in your life, you possibly feel weighted down with the onerous task of solving it. Your shoulders sag under the figurative weight of whatever it is that has gone wrong. You sigh deeply within yourself, square your shoulders, and step manfully up to the plate in order to get on with it.

Recognizing that such an attitude will indeed, in all likelihood, help you solve the problem, does not mean that it is the best attitude.

For starters, look at the problem as if it were a challenge. Same situation, different word.

Doesn't it look different already?

Almost akin to thinking out of the box, isn't it?

Now begin to consider that each of the challenges (problems in your former vocabulary) you have had in the past, caused you to grow in one area or another.

Isn't that sort of a good reason to look at challenges in a whole new light? Embrace them, even welcome them, because now you know, that as you resolve whatever it is, you grow at the same time.

I remember when my mother died unexpectedly when I was 19. I was not even on the same continent as she was. But I knew immediately, even in the midst of my blackest pain, that rather than dwelling on the pain, I was to dwell on what I could learn from this - for me - devastating event. And what I learned, how I grew, was that I recognized with great clarity that when challenges enter an individual's life, there is always something to learn, always a way to grow, always something that can enrich you. My mother's so very early death was devastating, but it was enriching. Her legacy to me was this knowledge, and for that I am eternally grateful.

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