One of my all time favorite books is, The Road Less Traveled, by Scott Peck. The opening line of the books is, "Life is Difficult." The following one is, "The minute you accept life is difficult, it becomes much less difficult."
The meaning you place on obstacles and challenges determines the impact they have on you. If you view them as a nuisance to be quickly resolved so you can return to a state of comfort, they will frustrate you. However, if you view them as a necessity to your growth and achieving your purpose, you can be grateful for them; they are friends not foes.
Adversity is the key to reaching your potential
In reality, this can be a hard goal to achieve. I struggle to maintain the latter perspective. This last year has been the most difficult year of my life. But I have grown more than at any other time as well. I have to hold out faith it is shaping me into who I need to become for what lies ahead for me.
For most of my life, I perceived problems as, well, 'problems', something to be resolved so I could relax. The shift that has helped me most this past year is using my circumstances to change myself when I cannot change the situation.
Growth produces greatness
I believe there is a path and purpose to each individual's life. Nothing will extract your potential greatness more than your difficulties. You need resistance to help you grow. Shift your perspective to seeing your problems as gifts and guides. This will allow you to use them as resources and be less negatively affected by them.
I don't want to diminish how difficult life can be at times. However, you always have a choice in how you respond. This is the greatest of our freedoms as a human being. In every obstacle you face, begin asking yourself these three questions: what can I do with this; what is the benefit of it; and how can I use it to grow me?
If you take this approach you will transform your 'problems' into your resources. Learning how to be grateful for adversity is a skill and perspective that will transform your life. Commit to doing this today, and watch what happens.
John Hawkins Jr., M.S., L.M.H.C.
John has helped thousands of clients overcome the hidden internal blocks which had kept them from achieving their maximum potential. Furthermore, he has assisted them in gaining clarity of their true life purpose, identifying their gifts and talents, and developing lives of greater meaning and significance.