I GIVE THANKS FOR CHALLENGES
Most of us enjoy a good challenge hence the popularity of our current culture of challenging TV shows which appear to become more extreme with each new season. Years ago we were shocked and appalled by the Japanese games shows where the presenters described horrendous challenges such as lying for infinite periods in a bath of ice (by no means the worst fate)- these are Japanese contestants however now even the Brits are trying to cope with life in the jungle or on remote desert islands.
Some programmes are designed to exaggerate everyday challenges with a giant dose of gamesmanship- enter Big Brother giving total show offs an opportunity to irritate the life out of their housemates and undertake ridiculous challenges - a test of popularity, narcissism and determination, yet realistically, we can suffer at the hands of inconsiderate flatmates or neighbours; definitely an unfunny challenge! The difference is that if you do well enough in Big Brother you have the opportunity of being rewarded with ‘celebrity’ status- a poor reflection on society and even if you lose you have experienced your 5 minutes of fame.
Each and every one of us has a multitude of challenges to face in our own lives and these challenges create our personal learning curves. Fear of failure may well accompany a challenge which is why we need to adopt a positive attitude to challenging situations. If we become fearful a challenge will appear huge, often bigger than it is in reality and be seen as a problem. We need to regard challenges as a test of our inner resourcefulness. A challenge demands a solution and if we step back to consider the situation, giving it our full attention instead of trembling internally and wishing to run away, we may well come up with a solution. Being open to ideas is essential as other people often have knowledge we lack and be able to point us in a good direction. Challenges can be individual – choosing the right course for career progression, or face an international company- increased revenue required, or even a group issue- how to raise awareness of a good cause.
Over-coming challenges is both rewarding and character building. If you think back to the beginning of the year how have you changed? How often were those changes a direct result of overcoming a challenging situation? Most importantly, what lessons have you learnt- really learnt so that you are more skilled in some area of your life than you were previously? This is really important because if you fail to learn the situation will repeat itself. This is why we see recurrent patterns in our lives. Successful people go from one success to the next and have the ability to pick themselves up when life knocks them back. They are able to do this because they have the right mental attitude which includes learning from their mistakes. My ‘mistake’ is to constantly side track from personal goals to assist other people with their projects. This happens as I like to be helpful and also it could be a subconscious tactic that prevents me from moving forwards on the business front- however on a personal level I have learnt from my mistakes and made huge strides- hello independence and self love!
We really do need to give thanks for challenges as these keep us alert- acting a little like a car service by oiling the mind. We are naturally inquisitive- how many babies just sit there without trying to explore their surroundings? We have a huge thirst for knowledge and finding the mechanics that create solutions to challenges is a part of this process. The other part of this equation is the need to achieve and we feel great levels of self-satisfaction which give us a great buzz and stimulate us to look for more challenges with each of our achievements. The types of challenges we face will test different aspects of our nature from intellectual abilities to socialisation resulting in improved all-round development. My advice: don’t shirk from challenges- just feel the initial shock, get yourself together quickly and focus on a solution.
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