Monday, February 17, 2014

Life is Challenging

“Life can be a challenge, life can seem impossible, but it's never easy when there's so much on the line.”  Herman Cain

What type of person are you?
Life is challenging; full of choices that need to be made, full of right and wrong decisions and consequences.  Every day we face life challenges.  How we handle them define who we are.  Life challenges vary greatly from what to wear on a bad hair day to the challenges that bring us to the brink of disaster.  As challenging as life can be what would life be without challenges?  Life has taught me there are two types of people that go through life.  Those who are willing to do whatever it takes to make a difference in their life and those who are paralyzed by the fear of failure who do not take the chance.  What type of person are you?

Challenges come in all shapes and sizes
They say life happens and with it comes challenges in all shapes and sizes.  Daily we face the challenges that shape our life from day to day and then there are the challenges that shape our entire life.  Life has a way of presenting us with new and unexpected challenges that block our path and force life adjustments.  These challenges can be the most difficult to overcome but also can be the most rewarding.  Regardless of the challenge it helps build our character, it strengthens us and teaches the lessons we need to survive. 

A tough day
Throughout my life I have overcome many difficult life challenges that have shaped me into the person I am today.  From terrorist attacks, to fears of losing a child to war, to getting a call that your daughter and her family have been in a terrible automobile accident or the realization that the day has come where your children are all grown and the house is empty.  

My wife and I had been looking forward to the day we would have our lives back.  No more running to this practice and that practice.  No more school meetings or private school tuition.  No more Friday nights at the football field followed by dinner in the local diner. No more pestering about homework which always became our problem.  We thought life would be grand.  I remember telling my wife how much fun we were going to have.  How much of our life we would be getting back

I remember vividly that last game.  It was at the state playoff game and we had just lost.  I remember how I felt – I wanted to cry.  I would learn quickly that I would miss it all.  I remember how we both felt when our son received a scholarship to play college football.  We were so proud; he would be the first in the family to play college football.   I will never forget the day we pulled away from the dorm.  I remember thinking my life, as I have known it to this point, will never again be the same.

What’s interesting is we had been preparing him for this event.  Long hard days of practice and camps but never even gave it a second thought that dad and mom needed to prepare themselves for the day their youngest child left the house.  Even though we knew it was coming it took us by surprise and took time to overcome. 

It’s not all that bad
The ending is not all that bad. Unbeknownst to me, I had gone through a life challenge that helped write a new chapter in my life.  I worked through that lost feeling I had from no longer being at the field or in the field house.   This life challenge proved that there is life after football.   A sense of stability has returned to my life.  I had met the challenge head on going full circle bringing me to a new chapter in my life.


What I have learned from dealing with life challenges is that much of what makes a challenge seem insurmountable is caused by our perspective.  Do you see the glass half full or half empty?  Instead of focusing on how bad and unfair a life challenge is focus on the possibility of how good things will be when you overcome the challenge.   With a positive attitude you are already half way to overcoming any challenge.  Sure the next challenge is just around the corner but prepare yourself by meeting challenges head on with a positive attitude.  Most importantly what I have learned is that life is a series of calmness, periods of confusion, change and then transition which brings you back to a new beginning.  Knowing this has made the thought of dealing with the next challenge that much easier to overcome.
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