I read a quote from an unknown source this week, “Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.”
I love the quote. It made me think … challenges not only build our character, but are often opportunities in disguised.
Challenges present opportunities to discover more about ourselves, and what we’re really made of. They reveal our true desires and passions, and help prioritize our dreams and goals.
Let’s look Steven Spielberg, he was rejected from USC, twice. This is the same man that brought us “Shindler’s List,” “Jaws,” “E.T.” and “Jurassic Park” — He couldn’t get into the film school. Having USC turn him down didn’t destroy his dream. In fact, it might have lit a fire under him.
So it doesn’t matter who you are, from the CEO to a small business entrepreneur, we all face challenges. The real key is how we manage them.
Stephen King‘s first novel, Carrie, was rejected 30 times. He faced his challenge and today his books have sold almost 400 million copies, many of which have been turned into feature films, miniseries, television shows, and even comic books. He could have quit, and he could still be teaching high school English.
Do we run or do we find the opportunities buried within the challenge? Someone said, “Do you see difficulties in every opportunity or opportunities in every difficulty?”
Challenges are great tests of our determination. They also teach us how to control our emotions. Do we stay calm, positive, relaxed, and in complete control no matter what is happening around us. Or do we freak out!
The more control we have over our emotions the better we’ll be at handling what life hands us. If you take a look around yourself, you’ll notice that hot heads don’t tend to go far. It is the level headed individuals that climb the ladder.
Next time your faced with a challenge here are 3 things to focus on:
- Stay calm, positive, relaxed, and in complete control … no freaking out.
- Remain committed to your original goal, by asking yourself, “Am I really afraid?”
- Ask yourself, “If I don’t finish what I started, will I regret it in the future?”
For whatever reason, most of us see a challenge as a negative thing. Change your perspective and it will change your attitude. Don’t be a victim.
Here are 4 questions to ask to help change your perspective:
- What is in my control? What is out of my control?
- How can I use this to strengthen me?
- Could this actually be a blessing in disguise?
- Will any of this matter in 3 years or even 14 months?
I’ll leave you today with three more thoughts on how to build your character:
- Treat others the way you want to be treated. Our mother’s taught us this lesson.
- Think and act on long term decisions, not short term gratification.
- Always let your values guide you to do the right thing, even if no one sees you doing it.
Until next time, Live Bold and Be Di’namic!
It’s your turn. What do you think? How many opportunities have you had recently hidden in challenges? Do you remain calm, positive, and relaxed in the middle of a challenge? Do challenges reveal strengths that you never knew you had?
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