7 Wisdom Crackers to Convert Challenge to a Crown: Welcome to the year 2012! All thanks to our God for the privilege of seeing this year, 2012. I know that many churches, corporate bodies, small and large organizations and individuals have declared what this year will be for them. I trust you are not trapped in the web of which "slogan" to follow in the midst of the myriad of pronouncements. Two things come to my mind as regard the messages these slogans convey. First, as you would have noticed...
most of the declarations are positive and progressive in outlook. While these slogans are attractive, unknowingly they convey an understanding that they can be fulfilled irrespective of our input. Secondly, these slogans give the impression that there are challenge free routes in destiny. Please permit me to wake you up with this truth: THERE ARE NO CHALLENGE FREE ROUTES IN DESTINY! I heard one wise man make a very stimulating statement that has stuck to my consciousness ever since. He said, "It takes the unity of divinity and humanity to bring reality to prophecy". Wow! Did you hear that? This forms the background for our reflection on the title above.
Wisdom is vital to crack a challenge and convert it to a crown. The truth is that every crown is covered in a challenge. In other words, crowns are hidden in challenges. The crown you are longing for is wrapped in challenges. Don't run away from challenges. Opportunities to receive crowns are trapped in challenges. The important thing to note here is that opportunities come in overalls labeled "work". Wisdom answers the question "how" in any project execution. Follow me as we explore the 7 Wisdom Crackers that have helped me to benefit from challenges.
Wisdom Cracker 1: Define a problem.
This is the starting point for cracking a challenge. Check out these insightful definitions of a problem. Problem is seen as a:
Mystery: an event or situation that is difficult to fully understand or explain, or a person about whom little is unknown;
Puzzle: a problem or situation that is difficult or impossible to resolve, or somebody whose behavior or motives are difficult to understand;
Riddle: something that is puzzling or confusing. When you combine the three definitions above, what you get is what I call the "Problem Equation" (PE). Put mathematically, PE:
Mystery + Puzzle + Riddle = Impossible task.
The basic outcome of a problem minded person is seeing tasks as impossible.
So the Messages carried by a problem mindset are:
- Don't even try because you cannot solve it!
- You can't do anything about it!
- Many have tried and failed!
- You are not competent to handle this!
- This issue is beyond your level!
- Don't waste your time!
- Forget it!
Cracker Task 1: Note the negative messages of a problem mindset.
Wisdom Cracker 2: Define a Challenge:
One of the most productive mental changes you can ever experience is a paradigm shift from problem to challenge mindset. Make challenges your friend. It is a ladder for your progress. Check out these positive definitions of challenge:
Invite somebody to compete: to invite somebody to participate in a fight, contest, or competition;
Dare somebody: to dare somebody to do something:
Call something into question: to call something into question by demanding an explanation, justification, or proof; Stimulate intellect: to stimulate somebody by making demands on the intellect.
Cracker Task 2: Understand the positive nature of a challenge.
Wisdom Cracker 3: Turn the problem into a challenge:
This is the turning point segment of the whole process. Here your perspectives of the issue(s) facing you undergo a transition. You move from a negative to a positive mindset. A special kind of emotional energy floods your mind and energizes your whole system. The feeling is strong and reviving. When problem mindset says stop; challenge mindset says go ahead and dare it. This is the small difference that makes all the difference. The key point in all of these is how you see the issue. Hear Albert Einstein, "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
Remember these!"Don't jump into putting out fire (solving a problem) without adequate preparation (turning it into a challenge) else you may end as wood for the fire. "
Cracker Task 3: Decide to set challenge mindset as your default.
Wisdom Cracker 4: Believe there is a way out of every Challenge:
Believe there is a solution to every problem (sorry, challenge). Dr. Robert Schuller was right on point when he said, "Again and again, the impossible decision is solved when we see that the problem is only a tough decision waiting to be made." Please believe me or rather Dr. Schuller, there are no challenges without solutions.
Cracker Task 4: Keep negative persons and opinions off your focus.
Wisdom Cracker 5: Ask empowering questions to generate compelling reasons (benefits) to face the challenge:
Ask yourself and others empowering questions. I read that before Henry Ford manufactured the gasoline-powered engine, he asked his mentor if it would be possible. His mentor trying to get rid of him just said, "Yes" and the rest is history. I constantly ask myself revealing and empowering questions when faced with challenges. You too can do that and get amazing results. One of the major products of this process is generating compelling reasons that will benefit yourself and others. I remember been asked to do several press-ups by my gym instructor though I was already very tired. He used a very interesting tactics. First, he asked if I really want to be physically fit; to which I responded in the affirmative. Then he started, "Okay, come on do one more for your wife; one for your son; one for your daughter; etc. Needless to say, I did few more press-ups beyond my breaking-point.
Cracker Task 5: Ask boldly and meditatively.
Wisdom Cracker 6: Act creatively on the opportunities available now:
Act! Act!! Act!!! Action is the foundational key to all success. Action is the vital trigger, without which the whole process is just a mere mental exercise. Les Brown captured this wisdom powerfully when he said," You don't need to be great to start but you must start to become great". Action activates the benefits in challenges to come out. "You don't need the crowd to get the crown in a challenge". Step out with what you have; Step out from where you are and step out NOW!
When MIND is weak, situation is a PROBLEM, when MIND is balanced, situation is CHALLENGE, when MIND is strong, and situations become OPPORTUNITY. - Never forget, "The smallest good deed is better than the greatest near perfect intention".
Cracker Task 6: Act in spite of your fears.
Wisdom Cracker 7: Get the help of others when and where necessary and never give up:
"The majority see the obstacles; the few see the objectives; history records the successes of the latter, while oblivion is the reward of the former" says Alfred Armand Montapert.
Get all the help you can, but never give up. There are goodies in those challenges you are running away from. I look forward to hearing your testimony. Go do something good with what you have learned. The best use of knowledge is usage not storage. You will win this year 2012! Welcome to the year where you will no longer fear nor avoid challenges! Meet me at the top!
Rev. Osiri N. Wisdom