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.

4. Adapt

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.

Procrastination is one of our worst enemies and it can hold us back when it comes to our tasks and goals.

“I have a thousand things to do today, but I cannot seem to get started. I guess I shall do nothing because nothing makes me feel less overwhelmed. After all, tomorrow, I can get started. Yeah, that’s a good idea, tomorrow, I can make a fresh beginning of things, bright and early when I have loads of energy. I’m tired. I think I will take a nap.”

-Me, yesterday

You ever said these things before? I bet you have. In fact, I believe most of us have said similar things when we really didn’t feel like finishing a task, or a couple tasks. Procrastination, it seems, can be one of our worst enemies, if we let it. It can fill us with a false sense of logic that is as toxic as it is lazy.

How do we justify procrastination?

There are many ways we make excuses for procrastinating. For instance, this debilitating state is often seen as a normal feeling or activity. Here are ways we paint positive pictures of the procrastination disease:

  • Procrastination becomes our friend when we feel things only work in perfection. If we don’t have the right office space, the right equipment or the right amount of time, then there is no reason to start the project, right?
  • We are frightened. If we are scared, we simply make up reasons not to approach a daunting situation. Since we are afraid, procrastination is our hero, and it helps us move through the day unscathed.
  • Using procrastination by convincing yourself that more important things should be done is productive avoidance. Maybe the laundry isn’t done or you haven’t rearranged that room like you’ve been meaning to do. Whatever the reason, the most important job seems to be pushed to the background by trivial things. I know, it doesn’t make sense, but I believe we’ve all been guilty at some point.

Okay, now you know why you do this. The point is, however, to find a way to stop. The objective is to beat procrastination, to not make excuses for this monster!

Here are some ways you can do that, so don’t make any more excuses:

1. Most important first

Keep in mind that important tasks have deadlines. You don’t always have to work until the last minute. In fact, this is frowned upon. The best way to get the job done is to jump right in, hash it out and then clean it up, cutting away what you don’t need and keeping what’s important to the task at hand.

2. Rewards

Offer a reward for each time you finish a task. For instance, tell yourself that you can eat a large dessert or yummy treat when you are done. Use rewards that are proportionate to the task so that it makes sense for you. The nicer the reward, the more you will want to finish the work. Also, make sure you are going to do quality work only, or else refuse to reward yourself. This is only fair, to you and to your clients, family etc.

3. Step by step

If it helps, break the task down into segments. Do a bit of work, take a walk, do a little more and take a nap -as long as you continue at a normal pace, it’s fine. Doing small bits at a time is better than never getting started. It’s the compromising with self that makes this work.

4. Environment adjustment

One reason why we procrastinate is because of the distractions -a pet may want to go out, a child may be hungry and even social sites may call us to waste time. The best way to eliminate hindrances is to change the environment. First off, designate a room for an office, regulate hours, set boundaries and then, STAY OFF FACEBOOK! Sometimes it’s best to remove social sites from your favorites so you won’t be tempted to have a look.

5. Calendars, planners, and lists

Another way to stay on track and avoid the procrastination demon is to take advantage of calendars, planners, and lists. If you document your deadlines and meetings, you won’t forget and you will stay motivated. Make sure you keep dates, hours and locations, including networking sites and email addresses. Don’t forget to keep your favorites updated as well.

6. Be inspired

Also, a great way to stop procrastination is to be inspired by other people, especially successful individuals. Read newsletters and blog posts which share ways to be more productive. Make friends with those who are successful in your line of work. If you continue to be inspired, you will always want to make improvements, which includes eliminating procrastination.

So, before you make excuses, ask yourself one question. “Will I say the same thing tomorrow?”

If you said it today, you will say it again, and again…and again. Stop the pattern of failure and procrastination by utilizing your productive tools. Share with a friend and help others be more productive as well. Together we will make beautiful progress!

Also, the video “Stop Procrastination” can help you train your mind to beat procrastination. Watch it here.

Feeling stuck? I don’t mean stuck between a rock and a hard place and I don’t mean trapped in a physically uncomfortable position. What I’m saying is, “Have you reached a plateau in your life and now have no idea where to go?” If you answered yes, then you are not alone.

I personally do not feel stuck, caught in a hard place of indecision maybe, but not stuck. I know what I want out of life, it’s just the obstacles that I’m facing that are large and scary. If you are feeling stuck, however, there are no visible obstacles, at least none we want to admit, only flat places in our line of sight, and this lonely place is rather uninspired.

Not to worry, it’s not all lost and you can strike back onto the path of success. All it takes is the right reinforcement and motivation.

Better yet, here are seven ways to break from that stuck place in your life:

1. Face your fears

Okay, so I stressed that there were no visible obstacles, right? Well, “visible” is the key word here. Deep within the recesses of your mind lies the invisible obstacles which are holding you back. You have semi-hidden fear residing inside your mind. This means the first step you must take is to pull back the veil, revealing those fears and get prepared to stare them down.

Watch: Remove Subconscious Blockages

Once you can see them clearly, you will be able to defeat those things on your way and cross over to a whole new level of adventure. It’s like a video game, each level is filled with magnificent new things to discover and conquer.

2. Change your perspectives

When you see that plateau, climb up onto the flat surface, you are faced with one perspective. If you stare long enough, you might give up on seeing things any other way. Many of us do that on a daily basis.

Now, by changing perspectives, almost as if you are changing your lenses in a pair of glasses, you will be able to see things in a different way. Are you really at a plateau in your life, or is the flat surface just a calm ocean? Maybe if you stir things up a bit, opportunities will surface. See! What a different way to look at things!

3. Know the Facts

Many times when we are feeling stuck, our emotions paint the picture of our lives. We don’t always base our current positions in life on facts. Unfortunately, without the facts, we are assuming there is nowhere left to go. So you finished all your work, so you ran out of ideas. So what!

The fact remains that there are countless ideas to discover and analyze. If you are a writer, just start keeping a journal. Deep within that journal will be your next breakthrough idea. If you are a painter, just taking the time to do brush exercises will help you bring out new techniques, maybe the next work of art that will set you for life. You never know. Know the facts and the facts are, there is always more!

4. Take responsibility

If you are feeling stuck in life, there is no one to blame but yourself. It was the road you chose that led you to where you are today. A better response to your predicament, other than playing the blame game, is to use that responsibility to do something about your life.

If you are stuck on this path, walk another road for awhile, learn a new hobby or take a vacation. Jump start your life and break the flat iron of your plateau. Emotions will tell you story after story about why you can’t make it, but facts only have one. You might be amazed by what happens when you pay attention to the truth.

5. Take a fresh look

One of the simplest ways to break out of a rut is to take time away from the problem. Now, I’m not saying give up or avoid the situation, what I’m saying is it may be best to put “fresh eyes” on the matter in order to see possible openings for advancement.

Many times, you cannot see opportunities because you have been staring right at them. It’s strange how things become visible once you’ve stepped away and returned to the scene later on. Clouds will disappear and objects can be seen upon the clear waters of a once barren ocean.

6. Do not listen to gossip

One of the worst things to do when feeling stuck in life is to listen to others’ opinions. There’s no way they can understand your situation better than you do, and basically, they cannot help either. The real reason they talk is for entertainment, and their talk will harm you more than empowering your life.

Learn to ignore what others say about you problem, and then learn to listen to yourself. You are worthy, and your intelligence will pull you through. You don’t need any negative opinions.

7. Now, how do you feel?

Feeling stuck? Before you lose your cool and say something you might regret later, think about it this way. It’s only temporary. Before long, you will be the rising star, the one in the spotlight and the confident success story. Nothing is permanent, and this goes for that plateau we talked about.

When feeling overwhelmed and with no place to go, read through these tips. They just may be the thing that causes your breakthrough. Remember to share your success story and help someone else in their time of need. You never know if that might be you once again.

The only difference now is, you know what to do about it.

References:

Stop! Just stop! I want you to refrain, from this day forward, from being a people pleaser. It’s unhealthy and it’s gradually breaking down your reserves. I know this because I used to be a please-all-people victim myself. Until I learned to live differently.

What is a people pleaser?

IF you have problems with saying no and feel unsatisfied if you cannot help someone, you may be a people pleaser. Those who are always striving to make others happy, by sacrificing their own happiness, are sometimes just called kind individuals. Sometimes, however, there’s too much sacrifice and not enough self-care. Before you realize the weight of your sacrifices, you may already be a people pleaser.

But there’s hope! You can change the way you see your life and the people around you. All you have to do is STOP! Stop trying to make everyone happy while losing yourself! Here are 8 ways you can change your life today!

1. Confrontation

The first thing you must do is confront the issue. Ask yourself a few questions to get started, such as, “Why can’t I say no?”, or “Who am I trying to impress?” When coming face to face with the facts, you can recognize your main obstacles. From here, you can start to change your ways.

2. Just say NO!

Start off slow. Practice saying no to people who are accustomed to hearing constant affirmations. Believe me, it’s okay to say no, to choose your own way for a change. Others use this word, and so should you. It will prove you have a backbone after all.

3. Know your Worth

As you practice saying no, spend some alone time. On those days that you chose not to go out, you can learn things about yourself, most importantly, your worth. Knowing your worth will help you transition from a people pleasure to a healthy individual. Knowing your worth helps you understand your limits as well, eliminating some of the stress from people pleasing tendencies.

4. Speak Up!

Another way to lose the self-sacrifice is to speak up about how you feel. If you’re in a group of people and you wish to be heard, practice making yourself noticeable. IT’s okay sometimes to draw attention to yourself if what you have to say is going to improve the conversation or strengthen your own reserves.

5. Do something for yourself

Spend some time doing nice things for yourself. Go shopping, eat at a nice restaurant or go for a walk -do all these things alone occasionally, and learn to appreciate yourself. It’s not just about helping others, sometimes it’s about helping yourself.

6. Compromise

If you’re confused about whether to help someone or not, compromise. Talk with people about your morals and limitations, and if they are stretching those boundaries, try a compromise. Although saying no is good, sometimes compromise is better. You have to be the judge of each situation.

7. Examine the roots of your problem

Examine deeper roots of why you always want to please others. Were you neglected as a child, or did you always feel the need to work harder than your siblings? You might be surprised by the past influencers in your life. Learn your negative roots and focus on your positive growth.

8. Dump those Toxic People

And finally, sometimes none of these tactics will work. IN that case, you may have to cut some people out of your life. These people, the ones who are never satisfied and make life harder for you than it should be, they are toxic people. Toxic people will destroy you and continue their lives as if nothing ever happened. Get rid of them immediately!

Stop being a people pleaser. You weren’t put on this earth to serve others and neglect your own well-being. Now is the time to use this strategy to improve your life, and maybe help others as well. After all, we are always a work in progress. Let’s be the best person we can be, and enjoy life to the fullest!

References:

Opening your mind can be just as important as opening your heart. When you open your mind, your life shifts from a place of limited, narrow thinking into a big, expansive thinking that is filled with unlimited opportunities.

To shift to this place, all it takes is a few simple tweaks to your mindset.

The Growth Mindset

When you operate from a growth based mindset, life takes on a whole new meaning. Every opportunity or experience that is sent your way is viewed as a potential, rather than a burden.

Even though it can be difficult to see potential when you are in the midst of a storm, having a growth based mindset allows you to think bigger and shift your awareness to a higher state of mind.

The Fixed Mindset

Living life through a fixed mindset keeps you rooted in fear and in self-doubt. It also is very difficult to see the opportunities that life throws your way when you are in a fixed mindset.

If you are looking to shift your life towards your highest path, you have to open your mind and operate from a place of growth, rather than fixity.

Here are 5 ways to shift into a growth based mindset and keep yourself out of a limited or fixed mindset:

1. Life’s Challenges

When you are in a growth mindset, all challenges that present themselves are viewed as an opportunity for growth. Even though they may seem difficult or hard, challenges are what keeps us moving forward. Challenges also allow us to explore new depths of our potential and strength.

Those operating from a fixed mindset however, avoid or shy away from challenges. They don’t embrace them as a potential point of growth and instead get caught up in victim mode. They may also find themselves complaining about the problem instead of focusing on the solution.

2. Trusting You Are Supported

When you are in a growth based mindset, you feel and know that you are supported. You are not afraid of making a wrong turn or ending up on the “wrong path” because intuitively you know that everything is simply a learning experience.

When you are in a fixed mindset, it can be very difficult to trust yourself and the world around you. You may also find yourself believing that the world is against you or that you are competing against others.

In a growth based mindset however, you know that what is yours will always come your way, and that competition is a merely an illusion.

3. Pursuing Your Dreams

When you are in a growth based mindset, the world is your oyster and there is nothing stopping you from achieving all that you want for yourself. You may understand that there are twists and turns on the road ahead, but ultimately you trust and know that whatever is yours will find you.

When operating from a fixed mindset, it can be very difficult to dream big or think outside the box. It can also be challenging to make a leap of faith towards pursuing what you really want to do. You may feel blocked, reserved or restricted in some way, but this is often just your mindset.

Operating from a growth based mindset allows you the faith and confidence to go after what you truly desire.

4. Influence of Others

When you are in a fixed mindset, it is very easy to take on other people’s opinions, criticisms and energy as if it were your own. Being in a fixed mindset turns you into a somewhat of a victim and can really hold you back from doing what it is that you really want to do.

When you are in a growth based mindset, you are open to other people’s suggestions but you don’t allow them to stand in your way. You are also able to listen and seek value in criticism, without taking it personally.

While this can be hard to do, when you operate from a growth based mindset it shifts how you allow other people to affect you.

5. Success 

When you are in a growth based mindset, you rejoice in other people’s successes and view success by your own terms. Success takes on a new meaning for you and is bigger than just financial or material gains.

When you are in a fixed mindset, the success of others can make you jealous and success is based on what other people think of you, rather than your own definition.

The easiest way to shift from a fixed mindset into a growth based mindset is awareness. When you can become aware of your thinking and how it is holding you back, that is when you can make changes.

Watch: Increase Your Conscious Awareness

In many ways, achieving a growth based mindset is simply about reminding yourself every day that life is not happening to you, but for you.

“If you are gonna make a change, you are gonna have to operate from a new belief that says life happens not to me but for me.” -Tony Robbins

This article was originally appeared at Forever Conscious and used here with permission.