In the Middle of Every Difficulty, Lies Opportunity.

You’ve probably heard the old saying “A coward dies 1000 deaths, but a hero just once.” This reference from the Julius Caesar play, written by Shakespeare, is sound advice for those looking to tackle challenges in their daily life.

Problems in life can seem insurmountable when looked at through the wrong lens. It is easy to look at all the work required to tackle one’s challenges only to get caught up in analysis paralysis. Often people magnify their problems so big that it intimidates them to the point where the challenge becomes so overwhelming that it is easier to do nothing than act.

Here are four simple strategies that might make that next challenge a little more manageable when you’re feeling overwhelmed. 

  1. Shrink the words that you use to describe the problem. If you reference it in a way that this is a complete disaster you are going to be very discouraged when you decide to take any action at all. Describing your problems as a challenge sets up a winner mindset and allows you to have a go-get-it attitude. Problems are never fun, however, a challenge will often pique somebody’s interest! 
  1. Shrink the amount of time that you think about the challenge. Thinking about a task at hand and how you might accomplish it is prudent but spending too much time can only cause you to stall. When you’re stalling this is when self-doubt will creep in and can derail your self-confidence. Shrinking the time to action will get you on track sooner than later and get that much-needed momentum to accomplish that next challenge! 
  1. Use the time when it makes sense. Things don’t have to be perfect right now but if you go in the right direction, sooner or later it will happen. I remember back in January when we were doing virtual karate classes, we finally had some time to do some much-needed renovations at the dojo. Although this had been something we were considering for quite some time, the timing just didn’t seem right. Once we were forced into lockdown, we had some extra time and access to the school for contractors to do their work and not interfere with karate classes. The project required quick action and we made the calls and got to work right away! 
  1. Stay busy. I’m sure you’ve heard from other parents; “I can’t believe how busy you are and how you manage to get all these things done.” Being busy with productivity is a skill set that will prove to be invaluable on your path to success. People often do what’s required and never or very rarely go above and beyond. When you are busy little things pop up and you seem to just knock them off your list one at a time like it’s nothing. When you are not busy, and you have a small problem or challenge, suddenly it becomes a daunting task. That same task only weeks ago would have been another line item on your agenda however now it starts to get in the way. Stay busy!

I’m sure Shakespeare was right when he referenced his famous line in Julius Caesar. Sometimes we indeed beat ourselves up inside only to discover that had we acted sooner we could’ve saved ourselves a lot of agonies.

Potential is a funny thing. Everybody seems to have a scoreboard or report card for what is great. In school, children are taught to get good grades and if they do that then they will get into a good school, get a good job and live a good life. Employers have evaluations to monitor your progress and tell you when you are succeeding or failing. Statisticians use numbers to compare us to the masses of what's good or bad. Why not take it to the next level and prove to all these people that you can do much more. Forget the target and make a new target that's bigger than what the average is doing for next-level success. 

Always remember, the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement!

Sensei Chris