Friday, April 08, 2011

Day 8 Gratitude: Challenges

Life is full of challenges. Some time those challenges are difficult or painful and the outcome is uncomfortable.  Other times, the challenge is emotionally draining, but the outcome improves the situation. I call these challenges "rewarding" because to call them "enjoyable or fun" would be misleading.
The challenge or struggle is an opportunity to grow or improve ourselves.  When we do, we feel rewarded, as if the struggle was worth it, like a feeling of winning.  In this way, we view the challenge as a test and because the outcome was positive, we view it as a win and gain confidence from the situation.
But, even challenges with a uncomfortable outcome can be positive.  We can grow and learn from our mis-steps, from our mistakes.  We can take a bad situation and learn from it.  Where did I go wrong?  Next time, what will I do differently?  
Answering these questions can take any challenge, even the trying ones, and make it a growth experience. And that makes it positive.  The short term discomfort is immediate, but the result of our new knowledge is longterm and lifetime.
The mistake that I make, is that I sometimes view challenges as a wall instead of a fence.  Walls create boundaries that I can't see past.  Walls contain me.  They prevent me from seeing beyond that space.
But I can see over fences, sometimes even through them. Fences are only a temporary boundaries.
Challenges are opportunities to turn that wall into a fence.  And anyone can climb over a fence!

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