Life Lesson #13: Turn Your Problems Into Opportunities
Today’s life lesson was inspired by Oscar Wilde (author) who said, “The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.”
There is an old legend from India about a farmer that illustrates the power of having the right perspective. It seems this farmer had only one horse to plow his field and one day that horse ran away. Trying to be sympatric to his plight, the farmer’s neighbors said, “That’s terrible,” but much to their surprise the farmer only replied, “Maybe,” and then set off on a hike to find his horse. As luck would have it, the next day the farmer came back with two new horses and his neighbors congratulated him on his good fortune, “That’s wonderful.” To which the farmer replied, “Maybe.” As it tuned out, the next day the farmer’s only son broke his leg trying to tame the two horses – and the neighbors commented, “how horrible,” to which the farmer again replied, “Maybe.” The next day the army came to the town and took all the young man into the service – all expect the farmer’s now-injured son. The neighbors commented, “how lucky,” but as usual the farmer merely replied, “Maybe.” And the story goes on and on.
What This Means to YOU…
One of my favorite movies is The Dead Poet’s Society starring Robert Williams as Professor Keating – there are so many life-changing lessons from that movie and if you have not watched it yet I encourage you to do so today. One of my favorites is when Professor Keating has his students stand on top of a desk to survey the world from a different perspective as he says “Just when you think you know something, you have to look at in another way…Dare to strike out and find new ground.” Here is a video clip of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgWDUKP6Quk
The wisdom here is very powerful – there is more than one way to look at things in your life. What might seem like bad luck could actually turn out to be helpful to you — depending on how you look at it. If you are facing a tough challenge – one that might even seem to be impossible at first glance – may instead be something different, something more; by changing your perspective, not only might you discover that this obstacle is only temporary but better yet you may discover how to turn your challenge into a new opportunity and possibly even a future strength.
Consider These Examples…
1) Stevie Wonder was born premature and the care he was given in the hospital (over exposure to oxygen therapy) caused him to go blind – rather than destroy him, Stevie turned that challenge into an opportunity and discovered a now legendary ear for music.
2) Michael Jordan didn’t make the cut at first on his high school basketball team. Fortunately, his mother gave him some important advice. “She said that the best thing I could do is to prove to the coach that he had made a mistake,” recalled Michael, “so leaving my disappointment behind, I started to improve my performance.” MJ used that initial failure to ignite a fire in his belly that made him the fiercest competitor the NBA had ever seen…and eventually its greatest player ever too.
3) Abraham Lincoln was born into poverty, lost eight elections, failed in two businesses, and even suffered a nervous breakdown. He could have let any one of these obstacles stop him, but he didn’t and instead he used the lessons learned from his challenges to become one of the greatest presidents in the history of our country.
Don’t Wait, Use This Wisdom Today…
What challenge is facing you today? Ask yourself the following questions,
1) “How can I look at this from a different perspective?”
2) “What’s GOOD about this problem?”
3) “How can I use this obstacle to my advantage?”
4) “What can I learn from this problem?”
5) “Who can I ask for help?”
The answers to these questions may give you a powerful new perspective on your problem.
Did You Know…
Today’s lesson was adapted from a book Jax and I wrote called Diary of a Minecraft Dad