Challenges are a universal part of human experience. Regardless of who you are, where you are from, or when you were born, we all face challenges on our journey through life. In fact, most of us face multiple challenges simultaneously everyday, whether physical, financial, mental, emotional, or all of the above, it can get overwhelming.
Noticing the challenges we and our loved ones face, and then acting in a way that recognizes how challenges present themselves in our lives hopefully allows for growth as people from what we have learned. When we decide to live a life of meaningful intention, it isn’t always a walk in the park. Responding to challenges by making choices that affect those around us in a more positive way means that we must make decisions with consideration of what we have to learn and gain from overcoming this challenge, a concept that is sometimes easier said than done.
What’s Your Answer?
When challenge arises, the question is how do we face our challenges? Can we see the value in our challenges and not only obstacles? Can we accept the challenges we are presented with and let go of our resistance to them? Are we able to listen to the question that each challenge asks, “Do you know why I’m here?”
There are a myriad of challenges in daily life that cause anxiety or discomfort. The ability to stay calm and ask, “Do I know why it’s here?” is a critical first step in overcoming any challenge. Many people never answer that question. They see that the challenge is simply there to make their lives more difficult, but that’s not necessarily true. Those who do not seek to answer the primary question of life’s challenges invite themselves to a perpetual cycle of suffering.
The the critical yet difficult part is being mindful enough to the issue at hand to understand the lesson. When challenge rises up and asks “Do you know why I’m here?”, the best answer is, “I will learn until I know.” With this answer crucial shift takes place. By committing to ‘learning until we know’ we are able to develop alternatives and solutions to act on, greatly increasing the chances of success.
The ability to rise above the challenges of life is an important quality that helps to define the character of an individual, it is a quality that involves determination and perseverance, courage, risk, and many times the implementation of sheer will to push through the discomfort that so many challenges bring. It is this discomfort, the discomfort of difficult challenge, that provides the impetus for growth and greater understanding. Remember that when you are going through it!
Challenges Are Opportunities
The common theme that challenge or difficulty is bad is a flawed ideal. Part of every challenge is thinking beyond ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and seeing challenges as opportunities. This usually means overcoming resistance, aversion, and fear by purging the negative thoughts that hold us back from the success of growth. The ability to maintain a positive attitude when facing any challenge is priceless. As difficult as it may be, it is often the key ingredient in determining the difference between success and failure.
On the journey of life there is no getting around the challenges. It is not possible to sidestep your way to the bottom of the canyon or the top of the mountain. Every hiker knows on the trail through the wilderness no two steps are the same, just as on the journey of life no two days are the same. Sometimes the challenge is to simply continue to put one foot in front of the other with determined mindfulness, knowing that overcoming the present challenge begins with the action of taking the next step.
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