Challenge!

What’s in a word? For those of you who don’t know, I put out a challenge on the Facebook page for Unlimited Smileage. I asked all the followers and readers to think of one word that they would like me to write about in a blog post.

The first word came from Kristin, a wonderful storyteller and friend. Kristin asked me to write about “challenge.” Amusing, that I challenge the readers and what I get back is challenge. Knowing Kristin that was her intent, fun.

Let’s start with the dictionary definition of the word; something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle, contest, or special effort. When first looking at the dictionary definition, I must admit, this didn’t seem like a very positive word. I mean really, I don’t know about you but I don’t want to battle and I’m not extremely competitive. Special effort could be given a positive spin or a negative one depending on your perspective.

I’ve never really looked at a challenge in quite the way the dictionary defines it. With that definition it would seem you are competing against someone or something and that ultimately there will be a loser. I’ve always looked at a challenge as the precursor to a joyous celebration. The rainbow after the storm. The oasis in the desert. I’m sure you get the picture. Does that mean that every challenge is a fun experience? No way! Does it mean that every challenge has the outcome I would think it should have or desire it to have? No way! There is no real challenge in always knowing the outcome. So what does it mean?

Simply put, it means that a challenge is only an obstacle if you give in to it. It means that what doesn’t kill me will only make me stronger. Life challenges are inevitable, defeat is optional. When life challenges me in a way that seems out of alignment with what I desire I know that Spirit is telling me, there is a better way. There are no negative outcomes in a challenge, only lessons to learn. Learn the lesson and although the outcome may not be what we wanted, the outcome is a powerful form of positive personal growth.

Nothing in life is insurmountable unless you give it permission to be so.

“When you do what you love, the seemingly impossible becomes simply challenging, the laborious becomes purposeful resistance, the difficult loses its edge and is trampled by your progress.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free