5 things about problemsArticle added by Lloyd Lofton on September 2, 2014
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Lloyd Lofton

Marietta, GA

Joined: August 30, 2011

Do circumstances shape your business and or your life? So many things are changing in the economy, in society, with family structures, redefining the things many have grown up with. Do you find yourself constantly having to reevaluate what you thought you knew?

Success has been defined as the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal. Success is a result; it is not the road or path. The path is made up of those things that take us on the road that will lead to success. The road is the proven activities that result in the success we are looking for.

So what do you do when those circumstances come up, those challenges that seem to stand in the path of the road you just know will take you to your idea of success? The first thing is to recognize some common points about problems.

Five points about problems
    1. Everyone has problems.
    2. Problems have a short life span.
    3. Within every problem is the seed of an equal or greater benefit.
    4. Problems change you.
    5. You can choose how problems change you.
See also: How much do your problems cost?

Everyone has problems

No matter who you look up to or aspire to replicate, they have problems. Just look around and you see a litany of people who have had problems. Catherine Zeta Jones was a fan favorite in "The Mask of Zorro" yet she has battled bipolar disorder for years. John Nash has been hailed as an economic and math genius, winning the Nobel Prize for economic sciences in 1994, all while living with paranoid schizophrenia for years. Nash said he had made adjustments to live with schizophrenia, which allowed him to continue his life work. His success utilizing these adjustments was chronicled in the 2001 award-winning film "A Beautiful Mind."

How many are fans of Star Wars trilogy and the star that played Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher? Off-screen, she struggled with substance abuse and bipolar disorder. How about a Heisman award-winning running back and former NFL player who has gone public about his troubles with dissociative identity disorder, Herschel Walker? Last but not least we all know Michael Phelps, the Olympic gold medalist swimmer who rose to stardom at a young age and who struggles with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diagnosed at nine years of age. What is common among all of us is that we all have problems. That's part of life.

Problems have a short life span

When you look back on your life, no matter your age, is there a time when you remember a problem you were dealing with? A time when you couldn't see the other side of the problem? You might have felt overwhelmed or lacked the skills to process a solution to the problem. You are not alone; others have experienced challenges:
  • Bill Gates first business failed.
  • Albert Einstein didn't speak until he was four years old.
  • Jim Carrey used to be homeless.
  • Bethany Hamilton had her arm bitten off by a shark; two years later she won first place in the Explorer Women's Division of NSSA National Championships.
  • Benjamin Franklin dropped out of school at age 10.
  • Richard Branson has dyslexia.
Today you look back on that problem and see it quite different. You now see the root causes of the problem and understand how you got through it. Life is kind of like that; we work through our problems even when at the time, the problem seems to be our whole life. It is only after we get to the other side of the problem that we begin to understand that the problem was an event in our life, not our whole life.

Problems have solutions and consequently, in the scope of our whole life, problems have a short life span. Within every problem is the seed of an equal or greater benefit. What we often don't realize when we are in the middle of a problem, self-created or not, are the lessons or value we can take out of a problem .No leader in our recent past seems to exemplify this more than Nelson Mandela. Besides the tremendous obstacles he faced in South Africa, he became a lawyer, he fought injustice as he saw it, was jailed for close to 30 years and ended up being the president of the very country that jailed him.
I understand the challenges and problems we face are real, overpowering and sometimes overwhelming, yet when we look at the betrayal, the loneliness and the despair Nelson Mandela must have experienced over those many years of being jailed for his beliefs, what can we take from his experience? Even in our worse time, when we make the effort, when we deal with what is in front of us (which is all we can do), we can find a greater benefit, a larger vision, a higher purpose for our lives. It matters, you matter.

Problems change you

One thing life does teach us is that the only constant is change. The road to success is littered with people who were changed by the problems and failures they experienced in life, across all disciplines:

Athletes
Michael Jordan — He was cut from his high school basketball team. His greatest accomplishments in his career are the direct result of his greatest failures — he missed more than 9,000 shots, lost almost 300 games, 26 times he was trusted to take the winning game shot ... and missed.

Stan Smith — This Wimbledon, U.S. Open and eight-time Davis Cup winner was rejected as a ball boy for a Davis Cup tennis match when he first started out because the event organizers thought him to clumsy and uncoordinated.

Writers
Charles Schultz — The famed comic strip cartoonist of Peanuts had every cartoon he submitted to his high school yearbook rejected; he was also rejected by Walt Disney for a position.

Steven Spielberg — Who hasn't seen one of his movies? Did you know he was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television, not once, not twice, but three times?

J.K. Rowling — The Harry Potter books and movies are a staple of the adoring public today. Divorced single mom on welfare Rowling went from depending on welfare to survive to being one of the richest women in the world in a span of only five years.

When we look back on a problem that at the time seemed so important or dreadful, we find that today we are not the same person who tackled that problem. Like each of the people illustrated above, the mere fact of facing and working through the problem has resulted in us evolving into the person we are today.This leaves one last principle about problems, perhaps the most important — You can choose how problems change you.

See also: Change your "but" to "and" to overcome objections

It is we alone who can decide how we allow the problems we have encountered to change us. We alone can choose to become a thinking, milktoast, negative-acting person. Or we can choose to embrace the strength we have inside that allowed us to survive our problems and become the winning achiever who looks for positive ways to contribute to our business, our family and friends and our community at large. Regardless of the challenge or problem we have encountered, despite the people or obstacles we experience along the way, it is we alone who choose how we allow these problems to change us. Here's to changing for the better — you deserve it!
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