Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Challenges and Choices

By: Joseph Norman

People get sick. They go broke. They lose their jobs. They get divorced. They struggle with physical or emotional pains. They grow up in the "wrong part of town." They go hungry. They experience the death of a loved one.

As beautiful as life is, it challenges us. It stares us in the face and tests us to be better people.

Life isn't always graceful and fate often proves to be a fickle friend. But, it's not always the circumstance that matters the most, but rather the choices we make in response to the cards we're dealt. You must ask yourself, "Is it the beginning or is it the end?" Your answer defines your destiny.

Are you facing some challenges right now?

Here are some ideas that might help you get through them a little easier.

Talk to a close friend or family member about how you are feeling or what you are experiencing. Once you get a grip on what you're going through yourself, share it with others so you can get a new perspective on the matter. They may have already gone through the same problem in their own life and their insights could be invaluable to you.

Accept the situation for what it is, but don't be quick to accept defeat. Tim Robbins' character in the movie Shawshank Redemption said; "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And, no good thing ever dies." There's always a silver lining and victory is always for the persistent.

Know that failure is often just a stepping stone towards success. When we fail, we learn lessons winning could never teach us. Don't ever expect failure, but embrace it if it happens. Often, it is a blessing in disguise.

Pain is temporary, pride is forever. Your long term satisfaction will far outweigh the short term sacrifices you may be making (or forced to make).

Be true to yourself. Face your problems with integrity and you will never be ashamed to look at the face you see in the mirror. Taking care of that person is the most important part of facing any challenge.

Above all, believe in yourself. At the end of the day, you're a great person. You deserve to have a life of prosperity and happiness. Remember that you can create these pleasures with a simple change in your attitude.

Challenges present themselves in our lives on a daily basis, but it's the choices we make in response to them which create our realities. Life is all about perspective.