A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.
~ Christopher Reeve
We all face challenges in everyday life. From something as trivial as running out of coffee, to deeper life-altering confrontations. There is an issue, obstacle, or “problem” preventing you from accomplishing what you intend to accomplish…and it sucks. That thing you dreaded and were clandestinely hoping would not happen, happened. The obstacle will sometimes rear its ugly head even at the most unexpected or inconvenient of times. You may have faced it before and ran from it, imagined it away, or ignored it altogether. What happens when you have no choice but to face it? What separates those that choose “fight” over “flight”? Perception, or a lack thereof.
Imagine for a moment that whatever challenge you are facing is not as difficult nor unsurmountable as you perceive it to be. Come to the realization that your decision to ignore it is robbing you of an opportunity to grow, learn, and gain immense confidence. A confidence that will set you up for success in ALL future endeavors, even if in the slightest.
The reality for most, however, is that even if we assign some type of benefit or reward, we remain marking time – waiting for the “right time”, the “convenient time”, or “someday”. We render ourselves paralyzed by what, for all intents and purposes, is a misconceived and illogical fear – only clouded further by hesitation, ignorance, and frustration. Therefore, most choose to do nothing (flight), remaining paralyzed – regardless of the goals that were once set out to accomplish. We often choose to wish the obstacle away, only to further distance ourselves from our goal instead of taking the time to understand that challenge for what it really is – an opportunity.
As a society, we have become masters of cataloging both systemic and individual factors that are holding us back from accomplishing our goals. From the systemic: a struggling economy, astronomical education costs, technological disorder; to the individual: age, physical characteristics such as height or weight, cultural background, financial resources, mounting stressors, or a general lack of confidence – to name a few. Every challenge is unique to each of us, but the responses elicited are often alike: feelings of confusion, dismay, frustration, helplessness, depression, and outrage. You are completely clear on what you want to accomplish, but you feel like some invisible force has enveloped you from all sides. We choose to do nothing – blaming our leadership, our peers, our pets…anybody but ourselves. This cripples our ability to get to the part that really matters: the HOW. We end up writing off our goals as unattainable when a simple shift of our attitude and approach could navigate us back on track.
There are a plethora of books you can read about success, but very few of them teach us how to conquer failure. None of them really teach us how to intelligently face obstacles and dominate them.
The goal of this chapter is to provide you with the foundations to do just that.
Continued in Chapter 31 of Your Corps: “Your Challenges”…