Moving Mountains: Four Lessons on Overcoming Life’s Challenges
Back in the day, there was a popular television series on ABC called MacGyver. The series followed the various missions of secret agent “Angus MacGyver” as he used his encyclopedic knowledge of science to solve complex problems, using everyday objects.
Despite the show’s fictional storyline, the show’s lead character—trained to see opportunity in the mundane—highlighted an important real-world truth: how you view your problems determines how you solve your problems.
When Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer, he organized his fight against it the way he would organize his training for a race. He read everything he could about it, put himself on a training schedule, and put together a team from among friends, family, and doctors to support his efforts.
Like Armstrong, in order to overcome your unique challenges, you must be willing to bet everything on yourself. You must know your abilities and not underestimate them. You must also believe that anything is possible and act accordingly.
Fear Kills Dreams
Think about all the fears that we have conjured up in our minds that stop us from being truly successful, truly happy. If you can conquer the enemy within yourself, you won’t have an enemy outside yourself.
Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher Sun Tzu, said it best, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles…”
Fear is a dream killer. It will make you afraid of hypothetical situations which can neither be confirmed nor denied, causing you to obsess over the “odds” rather than the objective.
In order to overcome any obstacle, any challenge, you must remain focused on your goal regardless of the possible danger. That’s to say, the strength of the enemy, whether real or imagined, is irrelevant. Goliath, then, is no more than an obstacle, and all obstacles can be eliminated. You must move forward toward your objective and never stop.
You Are Your Greatest Enemy
All battles begin and end as battles of the mind.
Therefore, the most essential battle any of us will ever face is the psychological battle within ourselves; for success in the mind will determine success in all other endeavors.
In order to overcome challenges, you must accept that the environment is constantly changing and know that you must adapt. And when you fall, pick yourself up and start the entire process over again, breaking it down into manageable bits until you finally succeed.
If we cannot take ownership of our psychological states, we are doomed to failure in every other circumstance that envelops us. Without an indomitable will, we cannot overcome.
Adversity Reveals Opportunity
Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, who spent three years in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps, described how he and others were able to stay alive by always having a clear reason for going forward. They kept their spirits up by developing an alternate world, created from rich memories, into which they can escape.
They also saw opportunity in adversity.
In the aftermath, Frankl remarked how grateful he and others were for those harsh experiences, “It was an incomparable gift: It showed you who you really were.”
Never Give Up
Failure is unavoidable; defeat isn't.
Real wisdom in life comes from doing something and failing. When we struggle, we learn about ourselves and what we need to do to become stronger.
Jesus told his followers, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?”
In facing life’s challenges, remember that true success comes at a price.
Always assume that you will have to go through hell to accomplish anything worthwhile. Accept that your life will no longer be peaceful or comfortable. Know that you may not survive to see the fruits of your efforts. And realize that you may have to walk through fire and embrace pain to get what you want.
But in the end, it is all worth it.
Reach out if you desire to connect.
LaVon Grant, A NEW ME Blog Contributor
Get ready to embrace “A NEW ME: Transparently, Abundantly.”