Opportunity in Difficulty

Bill Abbate

Who doesn’t want to avoid as many difficulties as they can? After all, most of us don’t want to struggle or suffer, do we?

Could there be another, better way to deal with the many problems and challenges we face in life?

Difficulties and Reality

The reality for every person on this planet is they face difficulties. Regardless of status, wealth, location, spirituality, or any other metric, no one gets through life unscathed.

Why do we actively attempt to avoid difficulties? I don’t know about you, but I do not care for the pain, suffering, struggle, and all the other things that result from them.

When something difficult comes at you, what do you do? Do you freeze, flee, or fight? What other options do you have? One is to react in none of those ways but to do something different, something better. Why not use that 3-pound miracle in your cranium to face the difficulty and look at it differently? You can create what you want nearly 100% of the time if you make the effort.

Do you realize you lose out when you don’t push through the difficulties that come your way? You have much to gain by facing them squarely, with no intention of giving up or giving in. Yes, that can be easy to say but hard to do — unless you face the challenge of changing your mindset.

Look at your life so far. As a human being, you were born into difficulty. You had to take that first breath; you could not do anything for yourself at the beginning other than cry. As you started eating, what went in had to come out, one way or the other. What came out created more difficulties, not so much for you but for your parents!

Aren’t you glad your mother and father didn’t give up and pushed through the challenges when you came into the world? Most of us are glad they saw it through, or we should be!

If you were the first child and had siblings, did your parents give up and say, “Your birth and all it brought into our lives was too much trouble.”? Followed by, “Let’s avoid having more kids at all costs!” They may have at the beginning, but thankfully, that didn’t happen. They learned through the difficulties, growing and maturing as a result. Otherwise, you would not have siblings.

At first, we were too young to care for ourselves. Then came the difficulties of learning to walk, behave, not touch the hot stove, and many other things. Some of us struggled through school, surviving countless challenges until adulthood. Are you not thankful for each challenge you faced in your youth? You overcame practically everything thrown at you. That is quite an accomplishment. Those many difficulties are the reason you are who you are today.

When you arrive at the final chapter of life, you can look back and see all of the good that came from those many small and large difficulties. You may even understand them as valuable and necessary and be thankful for their blessings!

Examples of personal difficulties

See if you can identify with a few of the difficulties I overcame and benefited from.

I pressed through the difficulties of finishing school, finding a job, keeping my marriage intact, and rearing a child. My wife and I survived the challenges of starting life on our own. We could barely pay our bills or buy food at the beginning. There were the difficulties of lack and need, working for bosses that stressed me enormously, and having people close to me die, like my parents, my first wife, and too many friends. Life is full of difficulties, but working through each creates the blessing of growth and maturity.

Imagine working for over 40 years and finally retiring. Looking back is far easier than going through it. The blessings and rewards on the other side of all that work and the many difficulties leading to retirement are incredible, provided you plan and prepare.

I cannot be anything but thankful for the many challenges I have faced. While I will continue to push through more difficulties ahead, those from my past have brought me untold blessings and joy.

Change how you view difficulties

Everyone I know has gone through a great deal of difficulty, young and old. Think about how many challenges you have already overcome. Why not take some time to reflect on the big ones and uncover how they bettered your life

“Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good.Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” Ronald E. Osborn (1917–1998)

Acknowledging that life is full of difficulties is the first step toward changing your view about them. You must understand they are a normal part of life. Every life. No one gets a free pass. They will come and continue until your final day on this earth. Because they are inevitable, why not accept them for what they are — difficult!

“Take heart again; put your dismal fears away. One day, who knows?Even these hardships will be grand things to look back on.” Virgil (70–19 B.C.)

The most positive person on earth with extraordinary faith will face difficulties. It is part of the human condition. It always has been and always will be, so long as we are in this body of flesh. If you are like me, you can’t wait to be in heaven, but you are in no hurry to get there despite the troubles ahead!

When you accept life’s continual flow of difficulties, you can prepare your mind to accept them. If you are over 40 and are still surprised at the challenges that come your way, maybe you haven’t been paying attention. Everyone eventually learns that how you deal with difficulties is responsible for making you who you are.

Why not face the fact that you will have difficulties as long as you are alive and start finding the opportunity hidden in each one? This can lead you to uncover their blessings.

“The individual who knowsthe score about lifeseesdifficulties as opportunities.” Norman Vincent Peale (1898–1993)

Don’t give up on life. Face each difficulty head-on. Be bold. Be brave. You may sometimes be afraid but don’t allow fear to stop you. You and everyone else have what it takes; otherwise, you wouldn’t have made it this far. God created you to overcome, so why not accept this reality?

Always remember, on the other side of each difficulty is something that will benefit you. Something good. Perhaps even something extraordinary!

Final thoughts

I hope you will join in the reality of being part of the human race and face future difficulties in a new way.

You can choose to ignore the inevitable troubles of life, or you can choose to meet them head-on. May you one day accept difficulties for what they are and find the good in them, their blessings, and the many opportunities they present to us!

I leave you with the words of a wise man. Give them some thought.

“Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties, passing from one step of success to another, forming new wishes and seeing them gratified. He that labors in any great or laudable undertaking has his fatigues first supported by hope and afterward rewarded by joy.” Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

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