Facing Challenges Head-On

Nothing we go through is wasted. Every experience comes with its own special value. When things around us go awry, there is a tendency for us to want to simply retreat into the recesses of life, to lick our wounds; to give up on life and the wonderful things it still has to offer. Now I totally agree that problems can be nerve-wracking. They have the power to leave us confused, lost, frightened and filled with questions. In fact, there are some problems that are so profound that they bring us to our knees. I myself have gone through a few of those.

Maybe you lost a marriage or your career has not gone the way you planned and you feel time is not on your side to change things. Sometimes sickness and destructive addictions leave us incapacitated. When tough times occur, the future can appear pretty dim and hope can start to gradually fade away. The reality is that challenges are a fact of life. We can't get away from them. We must all face them at one time or another. So, the smart thing to do is to develop a new perspective when problems come knocking at our door so we can deal with them effectively. Difficult times may bend us but they don't have to break us.

The minute we begin to look at obstacles as opportunities, we open up a whole new world that we have never experienced before. Personally, my problems were the best thing that ever happened to me. It opened my eyes to a life of independence and awakened new dreams and aspirations that I never could have imagined. I must admit - when I was going through it, it looked like things couldn't get worse. I felt as if my life was over. It took some time and a renewed perspective to finally realize that things happened the way that they did for a reason. I can look back know and say without a shadow of a doubt, "It all makes sense."

It's important that we never let our problems cause us to give up too soon. When we throw in the towel too quickly, we miss the breakthrough that's just around the corner. It has been said that things get the most difficult just around the time that relief is imminent. Tough times are temporary. They never last forever. Troubled waters are not meant to kill us but to cleanse us and get us ready for where our live is headed next. They are designed to grow us and to make us wiser. Troubles are simply transformation dressed in suits of tribulation. Someone once said, "As every storm cleanses the earth and the air, so does every storm in our life cleanse us from that which is no longer needed." Your greatest challenge may just turn out to be your biggest blessing if you can just get a new perspective.

Know that there is no single problem we encounter that lacks a solution. If we will simply strap on our helmets of imagination, we can think ourselves to solutions that move our lives forward and teach us the most valuable life lessons in the process. Henry David Thoreau said it well with this quote: "Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves." There is no quicker way to finding ourselves and gaining self-mastery than facing and conquering challenges.

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