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Gratitude – The Gift of a Challenge

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I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my amazing life.  If Oprah asked me what I know for sure, I would tell her that life is filled with magic when you live in gratitude.  There is power in gratitude and recognizing all that you have and not focusing on what is missing.  In the pursuit of our goals and reaching the finish line, we often miss the best part of the journey.  The unexpected is where you can find some of life’s most rewarding experiences – don’t miss them or cast them off as distractions because your sole focus was on the finish line or you may find a hollow victory when you hit the line.

We have a tendency to look at life’s challenges as a negative occurrence that sidetracks us from our goals, our life.  I no longer look at challenges this way.  I look at them as opportunities.  I’ve come to believe challenges can be one of the greatest gifts you can have in your life, albeit not the most enjoyable or comfortable.  It is through challenges that you see who you really are, what you are made of, how you can stretch farther than you ever thought you could reach.  You learn what is truly important in life and the facades fall by the wayside.  You define your beliefs, your convictions, your compass.  And when you get to the other side of the challenge, you may not recognize the person that you’ve become as you realize you were more powerful than you ever imagined before you started down this path.  That is the gift for which every challenge deserves your gratitude and commitment to learn the lesson often hidden deep within the challenging situation.

I’ve also discovered that until you learn your intended lesson, you will continue to receive the same lesson until you learn it.  It may appear in various disguises, but you can be guaranteed they will be more daunting and urgent in proportion to the magnitude of the lesson you are meant to learn. The good news is – once you’ve learned the lesson, you won’t have to deal with that challenge again.  So you have a choice – you can decide you’re not ready to deal with the challenge and take an easy way out and let it return in various, more challenging forms, or you can take it head on when it arrives, learn the lesson and savor the corresponding growth on the other side.

I keep a brick in my office, complements of my dear friend Beverly, to remind me that the sooner I take on and deal with my challenges, they won’t grow into the brick that may clobber me up side my head to force me to deal with them as they grow into more daunting situations.  Find your own brick to encourage you to face your challenges early and with enthusiasm!

Moral of the Story – Take on your challenges with the same eagerness that you accept a gift and with the same level of gratitude and the receive an equal, corresponding reward.

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