The Consultant's Desk

The Consultant's Desk
Poring over the details on your behalf

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Thriving on Challenges

It's time to be reflective and introspective. It's also time to be retrospective, that is to say, look back on the events of these past 365 days and put together the pieces so that there is a rhyme and reason to all of the activity, the comings and goings, the planning and executing, being accepted or not.

The single most continuous factor in this year has been challenge. In this instance, I speak of challenge in the context of a difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it. It forces us to meet the test or else fail. But Life is like a wheel in regard to challenges. Although we will reach an apex at one point, we will then sink from that height, whether from falling action or from failure, and continue to rotate until we come upon the same situation again in a new way and in another place, but still basically the same test to challenge our skills. And it is our ability to survive and pass the test that spells success as well as moving on to another level of challenges that will push our thinking, creativity, resourcefulness in order to claim a new victory with the arsenal of skills and talents that we amass as we move along our Life path.

The interesting thing about failing a challenge is that most of us get curious about what might have occurred had we succeeded. What's on the other side of the challenge and what is in the reward? Sometimes it's intangible. It lends itself to being able to communicate with others more effectively or to see the circumstances of others in an enlightened manner. We no longer need to judge another because we've developed an empathy with the person or the situation. There's better comprehension of more that's involved and we have a flavor of the dynamics against which the other is contending.

That taste of the potential victory spurs us to try again. We are in a position to appreciate the challenge we just faced because of the initial involvement. We realize how much more was involved in order to achieve success, even though we may not yet have a full sense of all that is necessary for that final conquer. Some of us analyze what we experienced, step by step, piece by piece, to determine what happened at each juncture, looking at what the various alternatives would have yielded had we moved in one direction rather than another. Just imagining this tends to get us excited, spurring us to leap to the next opening with enthusiasm. Just one more chance and it can be done. There'll be success!

And the curiosity spurs another aspect that can lead to development of even more skills -- creating alternatives. We create alternative methods of regaining the opportunity to face the challenge that will lend opportunity to do the next level of functions. Alternatives can be more than just maneuvering to be in the right place at the right time. Alternatives can also build new ways of overcoming old situations. Perhaps instead of climbing over the mountain, it is possible to tunnel through or under it, or simply go around it. Having executed any of the alternatives, even more perspectives are revealed to us. We learn more about the available terrain and its attributes -- the advantages and the recourses.

Welcome the Challenges

You expect me to say we should welcome challenges. I won't disappoint you. Without challenge, there's a life led in a static state. Challenges inspire and teach. Yes, to be certain, they are difficult. But what good comes from something that's a constant cake walk? We take the fruit for granted and don't appreciate any of what went into the development and gaining of the reward. We don't appreciate the knowledge that resulted from the experience. In fact, it's tossed aside like a gum wrapper so we can latch onto something that seems to hold more value in many ways. The resulting aptitude is something that is put off for another day. We don't stay as far ahead of the pack as we could without the challenges; we don't inspire others to push to be their full and best selves.

It's also important to enjoy the results of the challenge -- the victory. It's imperative to take the time to absorb who we were before the challenge and what we have become, what we have accomplished because of it. Most importantly, it'/////s absolutely necessary to see what we have done if physical representation is possible. Otherwise, it will feel as though we've simply been taking one step after a mindless next one. Sense and see the change in order to allow it to become part of who you are and spur even more growth.

Perhaps that one word is what challenge is all about -- growth. With everything in this and all other universes, the other constant is growth in order to extend the civilization, species, existence, and progress. To stop growing is to stop living. To stop growing is to stagnate and die because you become useless and rusty.

Desire for growth is healthy. Its seed is the curiosity that was addressed earlier. Repetition isn't necessary. Just a reminder that it behooves us to get curious about things and challenge ourselves to find the answer, find a new way, a better way, an improved way. And once those new things are developed, we should be mindful to evaluate all of them individually and against one another to determine whether there was in fact improvement or just a lot of flurry and activity for the sake of being in a state of agitation. Purposefulness is important to curiosity and growth.

Opening Doors

At the end of all of these activities and efforts, we should find that we are able to open more doors -- doors to Opportunity. Additionally, as we open one door of opportunity, it should then lead to another challenge that contains the seeds of the unknown and the budding of curiosity about the potentials that lead to success and yet another door to another opportunity.


So as we begin this year 2008, may you have many challenges that you meet with success by satisfying your curiosity about the potentials and alternatives. And may those challenges be filled with an endless hall of Doors of Opportunity.

1 comment:

catcaller said...

Found your blog really interesting...may be because what you have put down is in many ways what I have always intended to understand but have never been able to put down in crystal clear words like how you have..

wanted you to take a peek at my blog..

here's my attempt to state something similar (2nd post on the page)

Do let me know what you feel about it