When a problem is a gift

a post-covid world embracing change mindset
Most of us aren’t strangers to adversity. Everyone, no matter how talented, driven or smart has encountered obstacles and setbacks in life. So why do some people manage to forge ahead regardless while others get bogged down? Is it the type of setback? Is it a personality thing? Or is it merely a different perspective and way to approach problems?
“Never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." Rahm Emanuel
If you consider many of the motivational speakers on TED talks, their story is inspiring not just because they have achieved great things. Often it is because they have achieved great things despite the setbacks that life has dealt them. It’s interesting though, when asked the question: “Do you regret what happened to you?” Many of them will answer that they would not be the person they are today, had that not happened to them. They would not have learnt from the experience and they would not have grown from the experience. So despite it having been painful or traumatic, they can reflect on the good that came out of it. They’re able to build on the experience and use it as something positive.
There are many people that promote the power of positive thinking. That you can attain what you believe in. For others this may just sound like wishful thinking. Regardless of your thoughts on positive thinking, neurological research supports the view that a positive outlook and perspective influences the body in a positive way, translating into real health benefits. In the same way as exercise produces endorphins that make you feel good, laughter and even smiling can have the same effect.
The reason many people believe in positive thinking is because when they view the world they see good. It’s not a world void of the harsh realities of life, but despite that they can still identify the positives and they choose to focus on that rather than get bogged down by troubles. Obstacles and setbacks, well, they’re not the end of the world, they’re just part of the journey and learning experience. So the focus is on getting past the obstacle, and this is the key, their response to the challenges.
Most modern people like to be in control. Especially if you’re a driven personality. You like to plan things, do things, and be in control of your life. Those are all good, until things get out of control. That’s when for some people the wheels fall off. When events happen that you have zero control over, the only thing you can control is how you respond.
John Maxwell says: “Life is 10% of what happens to me, and 90% of how I respond to it.” If you view an obstacle as something that stops you from reaching your goal, you’ll struggle to get going again. But if you view it as an opportunity to learn and be creative about finding a solution, then it’s not going to hold you back for long. In fact it may actually give you momentum to move forward.
The problem is not so much the problem, but how you choose to perceive and respond to it.