Updated: Jul 26, 2018
OBSTACLES VS OPPORTUNITIES – It’s all a matter of perspective
”Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.”
~ Corrie Ten Boom
As managers, entrepreneurs and parents, we spend a great deal of our time dealing with and trying to solve problems. Problems, problems, problems:
Who called in sick today?
Do we have someone qualified to cover that job?
How is this going to affect our ratios and thus, my appearance to my boss?
Will he/she understand?
The bank called today and you’re three months late on the loan you used to finance that big expansion you felt that you had the families to justify. What do you do? Will they understand? Will this affect future collaborations?
Your child’s school called and your son/daughter is being disruptive in class.
How do we deal with him/her?
I could go on and on but you get the picture and this is just the stuff right off the top of my head. I’d bet that if we tried, we could come up with a list of obstacles/problems so long and complicated that it would boggle the mind. The media is certainly fueling our focus to ALL the obstacles we have in our world.
How is this showing up in your work? Your family life? With friends? Where are you getting PEACE and JOY? I had an epiphany, I am always going to have circumstances and “issues” that keep me focused on what is NOT rather than the possibilities of WHAT IS. The issue is not that I have Obstacles or that you have Obstacles, but the issue is about how we view those Obstacles. It’s all a matter of your perspective. Obstacles are simply – OPPORTUNITIES in disguise. Let’s notice some simple facts:
1. You will always have challenges – that is a fact. And as a human, that’s great! That guarantees growth.
I know, you think that I’ve lost my mind, but it is true. Obstacles provide the opportunity to showcase your talents. Even if you are on the very bottom rung of the ladder, you are able to demonstrate your expertise by how you handle challenges.
Those people who become adept at “challenge” solving will quickly move to the head of the class. As they say, “the cream rises to the top”. You will notice that your skills are noteworthy. In the business world, a problem solver is highly valued because they are able to: make the project come together, facilitate the collaboration of strong opposing personalities, meet the deadlines, etc.
Obstacles create the opportunity to showcase your talents and abilities. Do you have special skills? How will you ever be able to demonstrate them without challenges? It’s kind of like being an exceptional athlete. No one really knows how good you are until you operate against the pressure of an opposing team.
2. We would all prefer to lead simple and predictable lives – but as a business owner, I value challenges that create opportunities.
Problems give us the chance to flex our solution-producing muscles. Every new idea that succeeds is the answer to an obstacle that someone identified. Then, they sought to offer some way of overcoming or dealing with this challenge. Viola, a new idea or service is born. Think about it, everyday you to find a need (another name for a challenge) and fill it.
Do you have a challenge with the way something works or doesn’t work? If you look at it as an opportunity, you will see that there are numerous ways to deal with things. I say the best way is to keep asking yourself, “What’s another opportunity here?” The more creative we become, and we all know that is what is being asked of ALL of us now, the more fulfilled we are. We always get to choose where we focus and where ever that is, that is where our energy goes.
3. Obstacles provide a measure of our dedication and persistence.
It is easy to maintain a positive outlook when everything is going according to plan, but it is the challenges and adversity that will test you. It is when you are struggling to make your payments and create new things, and expand your skills and those who work with you that creates the opportunity. Can you take it? Are you a quitter?
We all have the ability to reframe things so that they are Opportunities and see the Positive YIPPY SKIPPY in everything that comes through our life.
“Now, there is no where to hide, and my job is more interesting than it’s ever been”
“Learning how to make great decision involved a steep learning curve, and it’s been worthwhile”
“I’ve kept in touch with friends who left the community and they are enjoying their new life”
Asking the question “why not?” will often lead to an argument, but try asking other questions “so, what could you do here?” If that fails to stimulate ideas follow up with “are you satisfied with everything as it is?”, and even “you mean to say that there is nothing at all that you would like to improve”. Notice that the follow up questions avoid the use of the word ‘change’ which can trigger negative feelings because the belief that ‘people resist change’ is so widely believed.
The pay off is that the changes in attitude create changed results. The obstacle becomes an opportunity. It truly is that easy and is YOUR choice. What we put out is what we get back. Fear or Love? Focus on the GOOD and it does come back to us multiplied abundantly.