edited: Wednesday, November 10, 2004
By Tim Connor
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Thursday, October 14, 2004
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Everyone in life faces a variety of challenges or problems. This article will give you a new perspective.
Tim Connor, CSP
“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing; it was here first.” – Mark Twain
If you are not facing some kind of challenge in your life today I would be surprised. Why you ask? Isn’t life supposed to be easy, joyous and filled with fun and achievement? Yes, it is but that doesn’t mean that while hoping and waiting for these that we can’t enjoy the process in spite of life’s difficulties.
I love the opening line in the book, ‘The Road Less Traveled’ by Scott Peck. “Life is difficult.” But he goes on to say, “That life is only difficult for those people who expect it to be easy.”
Life is not easy, hard, challenging, fun, rewarding or any other adjective you can think of. Life just is, what it is. The desire to have it be something else is nothing more than wasted energy. So you say, “Why do some people have it easier with more money, better relationships, successful careers, a lot of playtime and travel? Why do I struggle to pay my bills and balance all of the requirements as a mother or father, business owner or employee?
Would you be willing to trade your eyes and the ability to see for one million dollars? Would you trade your freedom for a debt free life? I doubt it.
For years I have struggled with a simple concept – why are some of my friends or peers better off financially than I am. I have been at the speaking, training and writing business as long or longer than they have? I am as good as they are. I am as smart as they are and I work as hard as they do. Why are some people happier than I am? I am not whining just questioning. I have had a good life and career. I love what I do so - what’s the difference. What I have learned after thirty years of questioning is that the difference is in outlook, focus, acceptance, effort, patience, gratitude, self promotion and trust.
Each of us has what we have earned. Each of us gets to keep what we deserve. Each of us loses what we no longer respect, cherish or take for granted.
I can’t speak for you, but I can tell you from my personal experience in life that I am finally coming to grips with one of life’s critical core ingredients and that is - that everyone has their own challenges and everyone who has them reacts to them differently and handles them uniquely. Some people handle them with poise while others rant and rave. Some people handle them with dignity while others deal in blame.
I hope you always have a challenge in your life; be it your career, financial, relationship or even a health one. I am not wishing poor health on anyone but we don’t always get to choose which challenges come into our lives. But we can always choose our responses to them.
What difficulties are you facing today? Would you trade your children to have them removed from you’re life? (Well if your kids are teenagers your answer might be different.) Would you trade all of your relationships for a life of solitude? Would you trade your health for financial independence and wealth? You see, each of us has been given those circumstances to help us grow in the areas of life where we need the most growth. If you have relationship challenges you may need some relationship growth. If you have financial challenges you most likely need some financial growth.
The secret to a happy and peaceful life is to understand that your personal challenges are in your life for a reason – to help you grow. If you choose not to grow from them you will remain stuck in their consequences and are doomed to repeat the same challenges again and again.
Relish your challenges. Thank God for them. Learn from them. Grow because of them and move on to the next ones with positive anticipation and gratitude.