Challenges: Essential For Joyful Living

Do challenges and joyful living seem incongruous to you? 

That may be your initial reaction, but upon further consideration we realize that overcoming challenges is what makes life worth living. Fulton Sheen, theologian, said “They [people] seem to forget that even as children they made obstacles in their games in order to have something to overcome.”

Challenges of our own creation are fun because it’s what we desire. Those thrust upon us by life, or inadvertently self-inflicted, are not always fun and exciting; they often feel daunting or overwhelming.

Regardless of whether challenges are of our own creation or imposed upon us, overcoming them results in greater confidence in our abilities to achieve anything we desire and overcome anything life throws at us. We take pride and comfort in these abilities and, often, use what we learn to help others facing similar challenges. In other words, we become more compassionate and caring as well. That’s a lot of benefit for the effort expended. 

So what’s the secret to converting those seemingly daunting, overwhelming challenges into opportunities? Setting aside the emotions and reminding ourselves of all that is to be gained. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

For you

I’m not going to waste your time discussing the challenges you’ve created. It’s what you desire so it will be fun anyway…most of the time.

For the unwanted challenges in your life:

  1. Recognize that your initial reaction is emotional and that emotions delay productive behaviors. Acknowledging this helps you to quickly set aside your emotions.
  2. Remind yourself that everyone faces challenges. No one goes through life unscathed. This reminder will help you avoid feeling like a victim.
  3. Plant this question in your subconscious mind “How can I deal with this challenge effectively?” Your subconscious is designed to provide answers to “how” questions.

With this simple three-step process, you’ll find that you can deal with any challenge you face quickly and effectively. In doing so, you gain all the benefits outlined above: confidence, pride, comfort and an enhanced compassionate, caring nature.

For our kids

As your kids face challenges, especially unwanted challenges, let them know that how they view challenges determines what they experience in life: joy or fear, anxiety and frustration.

Then share with them the three-step process for dealing with challenges not of their own making…or of their inadvertent making. As they deal more quickly and effectively with the challenges they face, they’ll be less daunted, less overwhelmed, by future challenges. 

Better yet, live this lesson so that you kids get used to seeing how successful this approach is. Then they’ll mimic your behaviors and enjoy the same benefits you do.

Let others know that you love them by sharing this blog post. They’ll appreciate that you care.

I love hearing your thoughts and experiences, inspire others with your success stories in a comment.

If you’d like to enjoy great confidence, check out our Confidence Self-Study programs (opens in a new link). 

If you’d like to enrich the lives of others by teaching them to be more confident, check out our Teaching Confidence Instructor Certification program (opens in a new link).

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2 Responses

  1. Deanna

    I love your new article Dale. I have written the question in my journal to read each day to guide my outcomes to greater joy! Thank you

    • dfurtwengler

      Deanna, I love the fact that you’ve written the question into your journal and will be reviewing each day for it is in the daily reminders that we train our minds to think in ways that make life simpler and more enjoyable. Given all the amazing neuroscience work that you and Stephen have done, I know that you’re well aware of that fact. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with our readers.

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