With all the talk and arrival of the New Year and people discussing goals and dreams and things they want to accomplish, do differently and forget about from 2010, the word “challenge” kept coming up. What have we overcome? What kicked us in the behind? What looms on the horizon?
I’m usually not one for an acrostic, but I found myself thinking about what’s involved in overcoming challenges. This being a New Year and this being my first blog (something I’m finally doing, instead of simply discussing all the time) here goes. CHALLENGE.
C: Confront. In order to overcome a challenge, you must be willing to be confrontational. Nothing has ever been overcome by anyone who continually found themselves saying “I’m done”, “I’ve had it”, I don’t want to deal with it.” Everywhere you look, people are dealing with issues, wanting a good deal, trying make a deal, frustrated about a deal gone bad or struggling about how someone else’ deal was better, greater, bigger or more fair. To overcome the challenge, you must be able to get in its face.
H: Help. The individual who climbs Mt. Everest never does so 100% solo. Leaders, visionaries, world-changers….none of them did it without a support system. However, it cannot be just any support system. It must be one that works for you, wants the best for you and will do what needs to be done. The face off between David and Goliath was a man-to-man fight, but great armies stood behind them ready to go. Yes, there are whole other discussions surrounding the event, but when the dust settled from the fall of Goliath, one army ran in defeat, the other ran in to conquer. Which army is supporting you?
A: Alert/Attitude. Challenges require a high level of alertness. The last thing you need in a challenge is to be out-flanked and out-maneuvered by something you did not see coming. Your peripheral vision must be honed and watching. We are not in life alone, so if there is a prize that you are after, most likely, someone else is after it as well. What does attitude have to do with being alert? Everything! It is extremely difficult to keep your eyes focused on the goal while being aware of your surroundings when you walk with your face to the ground, frustrated about where you are and having no idea where you are going and the direction you are heading. Raise your attitude and your expectations and the actions needed to accomplish life will rise with them.
L: Listen. Life does not play fair, nor does it play favorites. Challenge requires confidence, yes, but it requires the ability to listen and get direction. Particularly since life and its challenges seem to repeat the same plays…..someone has gone through what you are in the middle of and if you listen, someone is there to come to your aid.
L: Learn. If you have listened well, you will learn well. The person(s) that came to your aid want you to come out the other side of the challenge, because they know full well, that if you succeed, others, who will come behind you, will need someone to bring them through, like what was done for you. You cannot help others if you don’t take to heart, what you learned from the help you received.
E: Engage. I understand getting tired, exhausted, frustrated and needing a break. Challenges, however, have a way of staring us down…taunting us, waiting for us to show it who is the boss. No one has ever overcome an obstacle by doing nothing….once, ever, or for any period of time. You must engage. And you must do it…….
N: Now. There will never be a better time to overcome than right now. Yesterday has already beat you and tomorrow looms a bigger fight than you are ready for. The one who accomplishes today is the one who beat yesterday and is not afraid of tomorrow. The one who got defeated yesterday will be tempted to do nothing do today and will have great difficulty in even thinking about tomorrow. Tomorrow’s success hinges on today’s victory which is only within your grasp because of what you accomplished yesterday. Engage…..NOW!
G: Get over it. Yesterday’s defeat does not ensure tomorrow’s defeat. Nor for that matter does it ensure today’s defeat. While today is still today, you can choose what you will bring from yesterday to help you accomplish what needs to be done today so that you can call today great! Become perfect at that task and do it 365 times (minus 9 yesterdays) and guess how you’ll feel at the end of 2011? Speaking of ends….
E: End. Yes, we are at the end (of this blog, I know what you’re thinking… ) But the point of the matter, is that challenges do not last forever. If you have continued on the fight, gained small victories and wore the challenge down, you will be able to put it behind you. Yes, I don’t always look forward to the next challenge, but there is an excitement that comes with completing a challenge and gearing up for the “what’s next” in life. 2010 is over. 2011 has begun. “What’s next” is what needs to be on your horizon.