How can you turn problems into opportunities?
There is a known saying that says “We can’t choose the crises, but we can choose how to deal with them.” Finally, the way we deal with crises in life will determine if they are a great opportunity or a great condemnation, a great gift or a great punishment.
Let’s look at four steps, with which we can turn problems into opportunities, punishments in gifts, hardships in blessings.
1. Resist External Voices
Some of the largest and most successful personalities we know have repeatedly confessed that their road was full of thorns. They encountered rejections, obstacles, belittlement… and yet they turned their difficulties and problems into opportunities.
– Albert Einstein started talking when he was 4 years old. His teachers and parents thought he had a problem. He expelled from school and later failed the exams to enter the Swiss Polytechnic Institute in Zurich.
– Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because “he was not having the imagination or good ideas.”
– The Alchemist of Paulo Coelho has sold only 800 copies in the first edition and the publisher decided to withdraw it. Today is the fifth best-selling book of all times with 65 million copies.
– The modeling agents of Marilyn Monroe thought that she had to follow a career as a secretary.
– Beethoven’s teachers thought that he was not susceptible to the violin and that he could never make it as a composer.
– Mahatma Gandhi was afraid to speak in public and during his first case as a lawyer, he left the courtroom.
– The teacher of Elvis Presley in high school told him that he could not sing.
– Michael Jordan was dismissed from the basketball team of the school.
– The novel of J.K. Rowling’s, “Harry Potter”, was rejected by 12 publishers.
– The actor Sidney Poitier was told, during a hearing, to “stop spending the time of people and become scullion or something.” Later in his career won Oscar and became one of the most respected actors.
– Vincent Van Gogh at the beginning only sold one painting for 400 pennies. That didn’t stop him from completing 900 projects, which today are worth millions.
– Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Eventually, he was he who built the electric lamp.
The common element of all these people is that they didn’t give up at the first rejection nor the second nor the third… Discard the fear of rejection and try again. What people say to you is their own truth, not your own.
2. Take responsibility for Your Problems
Things do not happen to you but happen FOR you. Things do not happen by luck but through your effort, you succeed! This is a very difficult but important perspective, that if you keep it, you inevitably will lead to a question: “Why is this happening to me?” And the answer can be no other than one which regards yourself alone. What choice, belief or attitude of your past brings you face to face with the present difficulties?
When you take responsibility for your problems, you authorize yourself to find the solution. As long as you refuse to adopt this attitude, so will you meet, always, problems, difficulties, and hardships, which would authorize others to redeem you -and of course this will never happen. Your problem, your solution!
3. Do Not Stop Moving
The worst thing you can do when you are confronted with difficulties is to be paralyzed by fear and fall into inertia. Unfortunately, this is a trap that many people fall when encountering major problems. However limited you think your potential are, you shouldn’t stop trying for new solutions, asking for help, “downloading” ideas and trying to apply them. If you have followed the first two steps, the more likely you will find a solution.
Finally, if you have done everything and the situation does not change or is out of your control, then remains the last and perhaps most important step, adaptation. Charles Darwin said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most adaptable to change.” And it is a great truth. Moreover, what we are today is due to the resilience of millions of species before us. So this is the most guaranteed recipe billion years.
If you can’t change the situation, change yourself. Maintain your principles, but change the way you see things. The greatest nonsense we do is that we stick to an old way of perceiving things, which doesn’t serve us anymore.
And of course, one should not be surrender without a fight, but when you feel that you did everything you could to change the situation, then… Just let go. Hermann Hesse said, “No permanence is ours; we are a wave that flows to fit whatever form it finds.” As soon as you decide that you can’t wait for the situation to change and decide to adapt, you will feel a deep relief on the depth of your being.
So, do not let others limit your dreams and goals, take responsibility for the problems and their solutions and try to apply many different solutions. If the situation does not change, then change yourself. This is the “recipe” to turn problems into opportunities!
This article originally appeared at enallaktikidrasi.com. It translated by Visual Meditation.