Challenges are important in life. They are needed to four own personal growth and success.
When facing a problem big or small, are you the type to tackle it head-on, go around it or avoid it? Do you react to a problem in a calm manner or do you react with anger or frustration? When put under pressure, do you often give up or do you become even more motivated? Do you sometimes find yourself asking why are there so many problems in life anyway?
Almost everyone’s picture of a happy life is one where a ship always sails through calm waters. It is a life where the problems one faces are few and far in between. And if ever adversities come, they are the kind of problems that are actually pleasant to deal with (e.g., what type of coffee to drink from all the options on hand). But life is not always like that just as the ocean is never always calm. The storms you experience in life are there for a reason and it’s not because you’re just unlucky.
“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.”– Willa Cather
Life’s challenges may be painful and we may sometimes feel that they are unfair but they do have their purpose.
If you read the life stories of many great and successful persons, you will find that their lives were hardly easy and smooth and sailing. They had plenty of downs before they had a breakthrough which changed their lives for the better or they had many seemingly unfortunate events which motivated them to pursue their next path towards success. It’s only when looking back that they can connect the dots and see how all their past experiences helped them become the person capable of succeeding.
Think back on your life as well. Maybe you had experienced some form of criticism in the past which greatly impacted your way of thinking today or motivated you to improve in a particular area in your life. What other negative experiences did you have that made you an even better version of you?
What’s important to keep in mind is that all the pain and discomfort we experience in these difficult situations is a result of our ability to process our experiences mentally and emotionally. We are in-charge of our own reactions and we can make decisions that steer our thoughts and emotions into a calmer space so that we are in a better state of mind to decide on our next actions.
Challenges give us a chance to improve in the different areas of our life by gaining more experience and wisdom to push forward. They are there to test our limits so we can see how far we can go to reach our goals. At the same time, challenges are opportunities for us to achieve a greater level of success than the limits we have set for ourselves. They are like the fire that melts away the impurities in the materials to bring out its better qualities.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”– Martin Luther King Jr.
The next time you find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place, welcome the challenge. It is an opportunity for personal growth and a nudge that brings you closer to your success. Always keep in mind that like all things, challenges are temporary and they too will pass; but it is always a better feeling afterwards to pass them with flying colors.
Original Photo by Hieu An Tran on Unsplash