September 30, 2017 – Great Opportunities Are Wrapped In Great Challenges, Be Wise & Stop Settling For Less
By Oluwatoyin Segilola
My pen feels heavy writing this piece. As a student of the University of Life, I’m presently writing an examination. Challenge 111 is a compulsory course not an elective and every student of life is often tested. Those who pass are promoted and others have to repeat.
A challenge is simply a difficult task that tests your ability and skill. I make bold to say that challenges are normal to living. Does that sound negative? Well, that’s a fact of life and the earlier you embrace it, the better for you. I’m confident I will get through my exam because I see my challenge as a Volcano! I remember my basic Geography class.
Volcanoes both terrify and inspire. The terrifying eruptions are the result of magma from beneath the Earth being pushed up to the surface where it erupts as lava, ash and rock. Magma is a hot liquid that has natural buoyancy which causes it to migrate upwards. Do you know that magma is also a resource? Some countries like Iceland now drill hot rocks to magma to tap geothermal energy. Therefore, I posit using this analogy, that magma is such as the untapped inner resources in every human being. When exposed to intense pressure, it can erupt, and launch you into higher realm of creativity. Also, as volcanoes are just a natural way that the Earth releases internal heat and pressure, so also challenges are potent ways, Professor Life, uses to teach us how to release our untapped inner resources and thereby grow.
In essence, see your challenge, be it financial, health, emotional ..as a resource with an intrinsic value that can enrich you. It takes a grateful heart to see this, little wonder grateful people are resourceful but the ungrateful choose to remain beggars. Overtime, I have observed that sometimes the challenge we face is nothing but an imagination or self imposed limitations. It’s not unusual to feel inadequate especially when given a new task.
Have you observed that remarkable works come forth when you do what you need to do despite all odds? I had an experience in my secondary school days. My Art teacher, a disciplinarian, whom my class nicknamed ‘Dankoboko’ came to class and announced that an Art competition for all schools in Lagos state will hold at the prestigious University of Lagos. He emphasised that it was compulsory for everyone in my class to submit at least an art work for participation in the competition. I felt that was totally unfair, because some students were obviously very good in Art and I never considered myself as one. At home, I pleaded with my elder brother to help me out and save me from the impending ‘koboko’ (horse-whip) from Dankoboko, but he bluntly refused.
I was all at sea. With torrents of tears pouring from my eyes, I took my pencil and started to draw, out of desperation to meet the deadline which was the following day. I drew what I saw in my mind- “A Cultural Festival”. Guess what? I won the first prize in pencil drawing! I got many beautiful gifts and even a handshake from the renowned Nigerian artist, Dr. Dele Jegede. Thanks to Dankoboko!
Today, many are unaware of the great opportunities that come with challenges. Do you know that the loss of a loved one can be an opportunity for you to be closer to God and focus on your purpose? When you are in deep financial crisis, it could be an opportunity for you to discover your gifts/talents and trade with them.
An embarrassing moment can be an opening for you to learn humility and failure can be an opportunity to strategize better. Someone said failure is not the opposite of success rather it’s part of success. It cannot be overemphasised that the lessons our challenges teach us are more profound and enduring.
Life is not fair! Need I say that life never presents to you what you feel you ought to have rather it gives what you demand of it. To make a demand, you need to learn the skills of negotiation and the power of excellent bargaining. It is really pathetic that many in life do not know what truly belongs to them. Life shines on the dealers not the feelers! Often dealers count the cost of being comfortable and stagnant as more gruesome than facing a tough situation, yet making progress, but feelers never count the cost, rather they prefer to remain on the same spot as long as no opposition arises. Know this, ease is a greater threat to your success than challenges. Much more, dealers maximize the opportunities inherent in challenges to reap their expected gains.
Opportunities don’t always present themselves in pleasant packages. Sometimes, opportunity might come as a big assignment that requires a lot of extra time without pay. Do you know that opportunities can come in the form of a career setback or demotion? Early in her career, the famous Oprah Winfrey, was considered too emotional for hard news stories and the management of the TV station took her off the six o’clock news and relegated her to a morning talk show to tactfully get rid of her.
Unlike most people will choose to react to such setback, Oprah was elated after the first morning show was over. In her words ‘‘Thank God, I’ve found what I was meant to do, it’s like breathing to me.’’ The new opportunity that looked like a demotion helped her unlock her potential.
Overtime, the morning show evolved into ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’. Great opportunities are wrapped in great challenges. Be wise to stay off temptations masquerading themselves as opportunities.
Do you want a big opportunity? Resolve to crack big challenges. I encourage you today not to breakdown before the brick wall, rather take a break, and with every strength in you, launch out and breakthrough! Remember a right attitude wins always.
About the author: Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen in to Mindscope with Segilola every Monday on Eko89.7Fm at 1:10pm.