How often do you enter a difficult situation without dread?
How often do you confront obstacles because you feel inspired instead of obligated?
How often to you greet a Monday morning feeling empowered by the week’s possibilities, instead of weighted down by its mundane certainties?
How often do you face a tough task and think, “This will teach me something valuable”?
What if you did?
How much more manageable would a new work assignment be if you knew that when you finished it, you would have acquired a new skill?
How much more exciting would moving to a new city be if you knew that this move held the potential for great new friendships?
How much more doable would it be to wake up an hour earlier if you knew that you might use this hour to meditate or walk or plan for your day?
How much more confident would you be to initiate a hard conversation with your partner if you knew that it would help you become a more effective communicator in your relationship?
How much more interesting would running errands be if you knew that when you finished, you would have a better understanding of the stores, markets, streets and people in your town?
How much more powerful would you feel if you actively chose to view every difficult moment you encountered as an opportunity to grow and learn?
The answer to these questions is much more. Much more manageable, exciting, doable, confident, interesting, and powerful.
This week in particular, I’m consciously practicing the art of adjusting my perspective.
Does it thrill me to do squats and curls and lunges at the gym? No, but I know that in doing these exercises I am improving my strength. And that is thrilling.
Does it pump me up to search online for new job prospects? Not at all. But what does pump me up is knowing that I am taking initiative to pursue what I’m interested in, knowing that these efforts are teaching me more about the job markets and what it means to be disciplined.
It was Kyle, my boyfriend, who told me just last night that I should view each intimidating or frustrating situation in 2015 as an opportunity to grow. If there is one thing in this life I want to be, it’s someone who uses the resources and people around her to evolve in a positive way.
As long as I am learning, understanding, and changing for the better, that is enough. That is enough to fulfill me, to stimulate me, and to bring me contentedness.
It is absolutely miraculous to me to realize that the universe will always give me abundant opportunity to be this type of person. All I have to do is want it and choose it.
Here’s to embracing difficulty in exchange for knowledge and progress, a trade-off that will always feel worth it when you look at the alternative.
I’d love to know: What are some challenges you’re facing lately that can be improved with a change in your mindset? What's the best way you know of to get through difficult experiences? Feel free to share in the comments!