Challenge. Do you suffer through it? Do you deny it? Do you curse it? Do you run from it? Or do you experience it?
You cannot build a tremendous life or leave a lifelong legacy without experiencing challenge. Challenge is what forces us to grow. It what’s makes us look in the mirror and ask ourselves how deeply we really want something. Challenge is what sweeps away the status quo forcing us to reinvent ourselves so we can triumphantly enter the next chapter of our lives. To consistently play it safe and avoid experiencing challenge is to deny ourselves the chance to change and grow. And if we aren’t changing and growing, we aren’t living.
One of my favorite quotes is by Sydney J. Harris, “When I hear somebody sigh, ‘Life is hard,’ I am always temped to ask, ‘Compared to what?” We don’t have to win every time and we certainly don’t have to enjoy the discomfort or anxiety that often accompany challenges. We just have to be open to experiencing it because challenge is what’s going to make us into the most tremendous versions of ourselves.
I can spot a person from a mile away who has experienced challenge. They have a confidence, a compassion, a sense about them that shows they have traveled many roads and lived to tell about it. They are the Sherpas on the mountains of life that can provide us with sage wisdom and assistance when we come up against a seemingly insurmountable cliff or bottomless valley.
Experiencing a challenge is like stepping into a metamorphosis machine. You’re never the same after you come out on the other side. Remember, you don’t have to get it right, you just have to be open to the process. Being open to the lessons of each challenge, allows you to come through each experience stronger, wiser, more nimble and much more cognizant of the struggle of others. Befriending the struggle and embracing the challenge are keys to developing into the most ideal version of ourselves as we continue along our respective life journeys.