When CHALLENGES face us as they often do, the tendency is to draw into a shell and FOCUS on "me" and "my" issues. One becomes selfish to a point where no one else really matters but themselves. My wife gave me a wake-up call one day. She had endured six months if not more with someone who had become hard to encourage and inspire. Her daily efforts to take husband out of dungeon were seemingly fruitless. I hardly slept for more than 2 hours per night. Gripped by worry and ANXIETY, I would wake up and think deeply and develop THOUGHTS. Unfortunately I was focused on negative ones. I would magnify the challenge which in my view was out to devour me within no time. I got all the counsel necessary but still remained resolute that I had gone past my "best by" date. My sisters came in to assist, my own mother got involved with very little progress. I was anxious much about what people would say, fear of failure, fear of shame, and fear that mud was coming over "my name". I was gripped to a point of choking life out of me. "You are not the only one with challenges Mr. S, there are others who are worse off, so what if we start walking with no car, so what if people talk, remain faithful to the work you have in the midst of hardships", my wife would keep encouraging. Indeed I was losing it by the day but eventually realized I was not helping anyone by worrying. It is interesting that I would find it easier to show the world and anyone who called me that I had challenges with the hope that they would take me out. Unfortunately people would mind their own business.

Lessons I Learned in my challenge season -

1. You are never the only one with a challenge. On the road to greatness there are several challenges you may face.

2. Your maturity is based how you handle and overcome the challenges.

3. Your challenges are not there to kill you but to shape your character and build your internal strength and capacity. With each challenge, your CV or resume is growing. Your testimony is building up. You will soon have more reference points to the victories you have as you graduate in life to greater levels of responsibility in society and life.

4. Advertising your problem is a sheer waste of time and energy as people have other fish to fry. They would rather help someone who sees hope in the midst of challenges. Someone who has a positive attitude towards life.

5. People can only go so far in assisting out of the pit. Take responsibility. They are human, they may soon give up on you and wait on you to realize that it is your responsibility to think of getting out and find out what works in lifting you out of the pit

6. What you think of deeply expands and is magnified. Your mind can create major projects and at the same time create major giants and mountains that do not exist physically.

7. Rather than spend time being anxious, spend time thinking of solutions to challenges you face. Do not magnify the challenge but the solution. Negative energy will wear you down emotionally, physically and socially.

8. Depression and Stress can easily kill you. It is in these modes that you lose value for life and see no need to wake up and face the day. Suicide is not fiction; it is real and can be avoided only when FOCUS changes and you realize your challenge is even better than what others face.

9. It does not matter what people think or say about you behind your back. It is more important for you to come out of your challenges sooner rather than later. Focus on exiting the challenge mode into the victorious mode.

10 Lastly, challenges are the breakfast of those who dare to grow and desire to conquer the world and be counted among the great. Life was never meant to be smooth rolling, red carpets all the time. You do face various challenges of varying proportions, shapes, color and sizes. Show me a man who has not faced a single challenge in life and I will show you a useless man without the correct perspective of life. If you have never faced challenges then you cannot teach others how to manage life in the midst of storms as you cannot even define what a storm is.

You are a winner and conqueror. There is no challenge you cannot overcome. You need to take ownership of your life and decisions that have brought you this far and see how many strides you will make in the GREATNESS direction.

Author's Bio: 

Rabison Shumba is a writer, businessman and philanthropist. Writer of the book The Greatness Manual which you can preview on http://greatnessmanual.wordpress.com. Founder and CEO of Infotech Solutions and Greatness Factory Trust. Rabison speaks about success, leadership, motivation and inspiration. His trust works with disadvantaged school children supporting them with school fees and general livelihood. He also helps to network artists (musicians of all genres) to facilitate information sharing and building of future celebrities. Rabison is well traveled having been to Asia, America, United Kingdom and all over Africa. He is married to Jacqueline Edwards and they have two children. They reside in Harare, Zimbabwe, Southern Africa.