Many at times we encounter a lot of challenges in life which tend to make us undermine our full potential as the most powerful and exceptional beings of all of God’s creations. As a result, we fail to realize that the challenges we are born into and face in life are our opportunities to success. The challenges you are born into and go through in life teaches you something every day if you just keep your eyes open and are conscious of what is going on around you.
What then are challenges?
Napoleon Hill once said, one trick of opportunity is that, it has sly habit of slipping in by the back door, and often it comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat. The challenges you are born into and going through are your opportunities in disguise in the form of financial difficulties, discrimination, failure, loneliness, hatred, etc.
In order to harness your challenges and create opportunities out of them, you need three things which I call ‘The THREE elements of SUCCESS’. They include; EXPERIENCE, CONFIDENCE, and PERSISTENCE. Your experiences in life everyday tells you what to do; Your Confidence allows you to do it; and Your Persistence pushes you to keep doing it no matter the result.
Mostly, Many of us fail to vividly see and conspicuously realize the vitality of the experiences we go through every day in life. Our experiences prepare us to be matured, creative, witty and skilled enough to create and seize opportunities out of the obstacles, miseries, and failures we face in life. Our dreams, goals, desires, and aspirations are born out of and shaped by the experiences we go through every day in the journey of life.
Confidence is the all-important factor you need to protect yourself from the slings and arrows of negativity. (from the book ‘The Power of Focus’). In the absence of confidence, fear and worry take control. When fear takes control, you become afraid to face your challenges head on, which subdues your creative ability to coin your challenges into opportunities. George Addair was not wrong when he said ‘everything you want in life is on the other side of fear.’ And the bridge to the other side of fear is the element of confidence that will allow you to overcome the ocean of fear to get what you want. Most of the time, fear exists only in our minds and all we need is the confidence to suppress that mindset. Confidence is a habit that can be harnessed and strengthened every day, it evolves from combining a positive attitude with positive action and it grows by doing, not by just thinking.
Napoleon Hill’s experiences both in life and as a renowned author gave him the confidence to say that ‘NO does not necessarily mean NO; All you need to do is to keep on keeping on, because failure cannot cope with Persistence’ and Hill was not wrong. You will never overcome your challenges and create opportunities to achieve big results in your life without consistent and persistent action. An epitome of the spirit of persistence is Abraham Lincoln, who is regarded as one of the greatest presidents in the history of America. Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with many obstacles and defeats throughout his life. He lost eight elections, failed in business twice, and suffered a nervous breakdown. Yet he rose above all these obstacles and persisted to establish his place in the history books of America.
Here is a chronology of Lincoln’s road to SUCCESS
1816 His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.1831 Failed in business.
1832 Ran for state legislature- lost.
1833 Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the
year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of life paying off this debt.
1834 Ran for state legislature again- won.
1835 Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
1836 Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
1838 Sought to become speaker of the state legislature-defeated.
1840 Sought to become elector- defeated.
1843 Ran for Congress- lost.
1846 Ran for Congress again- this time he won.
1848 Ran for re-election to Congress- lost.
1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state- rejected.
1854 Ran for Senate of the United States- lost.
1856 Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention- got
less than 100 votes.
1858 Ran for U.S. senate again- again he lost.
1860 Elected President of the United States and the rest is history.
SOURCE: from the book ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’
The challenges we go through in our everyday life makes us who we are; it is who we are that gives us the experience to tell what we are to do; it is our confidence that allows us to do it; and it is our persistence that pushes us to keep doing it. The challenge I faced when I was going to Madina and the experience in this old Troski ignited my creative ability to start writing this article; my confidence allowed me to overcome my worry of not having a pen and paper, and started writing something on my phone; and it is my persistent spirit that pushed me to keep writing this article. You see, the challenge I faced has given me the opportunity to write my first ever article. I hope this article makes you see that YOUR CHALLENGES ARE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES that you should take advantage of.
This article was written by Jeffery Kwame Blay for the Impact Generation Foundation