When Life Presents Us with Challenges

"When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change.”

- Paulo Coelho (The Devil and Miss Prym)

In life, we encounter a myriad of challenges. Just think of what comes our way in an average week across various areas of life, such as our relationships, work, health or money. These challenges can either teach us something and strengthen our personal character, or can leave us feeling hopeless and resistant to change. 

Our greatest difficulty is not what life throws our way, but rather to be aware of our thoughts and actions in the heat of a difficult moment. When we are not aware, we do not realise our need to develop the skills that help us to face life's challenges and find a greater meaning in any given situation.

In his book, "Man's Search for Meaning", Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl suggests that many things can be taken from us, except for one thing: the freedom to choose our attitude in any situation. In other words, when facing challenges in our personal or professional lives, we should try to be conscious of our choices. 

Next time you are faced with a challenge, ask yourself the following two questions:

  1. What will this teach me?
  2. What skills do I need to develop to deal with this situation? Will I feel that I am a better person when I have done it?

We must say "yes" to life, even when life throws us a curveball, because in so doing we are able to find meaning in life, even in what may be experienced as miserable, unfair or difficult.  In finding meaning through our challenges, we create strength, courage and resilience.