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Challenges are not curses

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” -Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Having it easier doesn’t necessarily amount to having it better.

The implementation of beneficial changes requires an interim period in which considerable investments of time, energy, and resources must be made on the basis of faith in an outcome which has yet to be fully realized.

Seth Godin refers to this period as “the dip.”

The people who get through the dip are the ones who don’t confuse being challenged with being cursed.

Florence Scovel Shinn wrote: “Everything may seem to be going wrong, when in reality, it is going right.”

Don’t make your challenges any more challenging than they already are by interpreting them as evidence of a malevolent Universe that enjoys thwarting your plans.

See them as confirmation signs that you’re in the process of shedding mediocrity and metamorphosing into your highest self.

Challenges are life’s gifts to those who challenge themselves.

They’re there to help us hone our skills, sharpen our intelligence, build our character, and broaden our horizons.

This isn’t always easy to see, but what’s the alternative?

You can avoid challenges and live a stagnant life; You can resist challenges and live a bitter life; You can embrace challenges and live an expansive life.

What option will you choose?

T.K. Coleman

This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. I choose “to embrace the challenges and live an expansive life”. Scarier, but much more satisfying.
    Thanks again, T.K.

  2. TK…. very well said and very timely. I was just today having a similar discussion with my wife.

    We had a rather disappointing incident in our business this past week. Someone did some very hurtful things. Now naturally I am biased, but the behaviour of the individual involved was unquestionably immature and spiteful. My wife hurt for a time as most people would.

    But we looked at the incident and agreed together that we would welcome this challenge. We looked back over our relationship and time in business and confirmed once again that the best things have sprung out of the most painful and perplexing.

    I heard a minister teach recently, “Adversity doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you”.

    This is true if we let it be. “Letting it”, however requires learning how to deal with the pain of disappointment, mistreatment, and betrayal. The healthier we get, the less pain we feel at the pointy end of these kinds of incidents. Yet, I have yet to meet the person who does not still feel even a small amount.

    Our growth this way appears to be hyperbolic…. ever approaching the axis but never actually reaching it.

    Alas, the painful ‘dip’ can get shorter and less intense as we move through it. But as long as we are doing good things while in pain, we are building the positive outcome, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment.

    Thanks for your encouraging words as always.



    1. Believe it or not, Chaz, I speak directly from the depths of the dip and I really understand exactly what you’re talking about, bro. I ponder the words of david who wrote: “why so downcast, o my soul? Put your hope in God.” It really means a lot to possess the grace we need to encourage ourselves with higher perspectives during times such as these. Hearing your testimony is only confirmation of the fact that “God is able” and that “All things work together for the good…”

      Let’s keep confronting these trying times with the power of the greatness within.

      Cheers, my man!


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