"Difficulties are meant to rouse not discourage"
That’s a quote from author William Ellery Channing. It’s a good one and I use it often in my chat with my daughter’s friends -- Young kids in their twenties, some searching, others struggling along life paths more often not of their choosing. Yet no matter how simply put, explained or presented to them, they still miss the point. I guess it is truly hard to understand that something as negative as a difficulty can be turned into a possibly positive thing. Not everybody can see that or swing it, it seems. It’s an old mind-set forced or thrust upon us or we’ve inherited through many generations before us.
Whenever a difficulty comes across, admittedly its impact on that person always is hugely and immensely disrupting, so disturbing and quite unsettling -- Plus the fact that it sure can hurt and hurt deep.
But what is a difficulty? I posed that question to the kids. Here’s what they say.
- When things come to a standstill and that no matter how you try it
- When a mountain of woes stands so high and steeper to climb
- When resources are scarce and inadequate for the challenge
- When ‘roadblocks’ appear where they shouldn’t
- When a ‘detour’ may be smart but not feasible
- When people say you can’t and you hear it said a thousand times
that you come to believe it yourself
- When doors close to you and windows won’t open
Tough luck some people would say to that. Naah, I don’t believe in luck. To quote author Abraham Maslow ---
“We are not in a position in which we have nothing to work with. We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions, and callings.”
Therefore what then is required of us is to work those God-given talents and gifts towards our goals. God already knew bout difficulties when he created us, so He made sure that we would be well equipped to handle those…thus our talents.
Do you know where the real difficulty lies? It’s not in the problem itself. It’s in you. Surprised? Well, think about this. The difficulty a problem poses is more often than not surmountable and resolved with good attitude, smart planning, and hard work. But the difficulty which you present is the weight that makes your problem a bigger burden than it really is.
Not understanding the purpose of difficulties in our lives makes us lose the battle right from the beginning. If you see or approach a problem as a problem per se, that won’t get you anywhere, not even an inch closer to where you want or hope to be. Because with that attitude you become to yourself a hindrance – obstacle – drawback – impediment – weakness – disadvantage – snag which unfailingly halts your pursuit of progress. Because you set your focus and energies in seeing the difficulty rather than focusing on how you can overcome it. On the other hand, when you shake yourself out of that negative mind-set, something splendid happens. Self-assessment gives birth to self-knowledge. And wise is he who knows what he can or can’t do and doesn’t stop there but pushes himself beyond to make his ‘can do’s’ bigger and create possibilities out of his ‘can’t do’s’.
Notice something there? --That in trying to hurdle or overcome difficulties, within you and without, you have been roused to action? Action begets action ---and begets even more action. Before you realize it you’re there – where your dreams are, where you want to be.
Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. And further try think about this,
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” Seneca (3 B.C. - 65 A.D.)
posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 9:31 PM