"The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year." ~ John Foster Dulles

We hope this doesn’t come as a shock to some of you, but there just isn’t any such thing as a pain-free, problem-free life. We hear about Nirvana, and Xanadu, and Camelot. These places do not exist in nature. They are man-made fantasies, and they still come with challenges.

It’s important to get a grip on the challenges in your life. There’s a good reason they are there. What is there now is what you are capable of handling now. Famous basketball coach, Pat Riley says that “If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.”

It’s wise to develop a way of looking at your problems – your challenges – so that you can turn them into successes, wisdom, and great strength of character.

Admit to the Problem. It’s okay to say “This is a huge challenge. It frightens me and I’m repulsed by it. I don’t want it here.” And then begin to look for ways to solve it. It won’t go away without your solution, and you’ll grow in wisdom and grace as you work through it.

Release Your Fantasies and Deal With Right Now. You cannot wish away the challenges in your right now experience See what creativity you can express in a solution. Change is seldom a piece of cake, but if you let go of your fantasy “I wish it was like this,” you make your tasks easier. It takes hard work to let go and to refocus on a solution, but you’re worth the effort.

Don’t Take Your Problems Personally. It isn’t sinful to have a problem regardless of what anyone may think about it. They are there to strengthen you, and to develop your character. You may, however, be judged on your reaction (or the lack of it) to the challenge.

Journal About Lessons Learned. Every challenge will teach you something. Start looking for the lesson, because if you don’t learn it the first time it appears, it will come again until you do learn. Keep track of what your lessons have been. “Life is a schoolmaster,” St. Paul says, so we might as well love the learning.

Whining and Blaming Won’t Serve You Well. You might have the habit of asking “Why me?” That doesn’t solve anything. Find a better question, like “Do I see one small step out of this mess?” Create a list of questions that will move you forward, not jogging in place. If you’ve developed a habit of blaming another, while you’re pointing at them, you’ve missed the other fingers pointing at you.

Be Satisfied with Small Steps Forward. There are very few moments where “a giant leap for mankind” fills the bill. Normally, it’s those little bitty centimeter steps forward that are the norm. You will always see one next step. Take that one and you will see the next. Never quit taking those small steps forward.

You’ve got to have a Dream. Regardless of how many or how big your challenges may be, when you have a dream for your life – and please tell me that you do! – that very dream will keep you optimistic and moving forward. You’ll see your problems as strengthening agents and you’ll do your happy dance because you know you’re moving closer to your dream. You can move from tragedy to triumph. No matter what seems to hold you down, remember it’s temporary, and keep knowing you’ll make that dream come true when you keep moving forward.

There is No Norm; You Aren’t Different. So many of us feel isolated out of the pack of humanity. That’s just not true. Every one of us is the same: we are here to learn life’s lessons; we are here to make our dreams come true; we are hear to discover the wonders of the Self. When I was growing up, there was a saying that leveled the field: He puts his pants on one leg at a time as you do.

Only One Opinion Counts: Yours. When you get the opinion of another, they are not telling you about you. They are telling you about themselves, about what they have learned, what they have experienced, how they have been challenged. You are the only one who’s lived your experiences and challenges, and while you might pick up on another’s good idea, it’s still only you who’s picking it up and doing something with it. That’s the lesson here: only you can do for you. You have your own keen insights. Learn to rely on them.

You are the Total of Your Experiences, Your Solvings. You’re not the baby you used to be. You’re the individual who has had experiences and benefited from them. Life has sent you lessons to be learned, and these challenges will force you to grow stronger if you embrace them as growth opportunities vs. poor, poor pitiful me. Begin today to look for the lesson. Begin today to find new ways to change yourself for the better. Begin today to become stronger. Take full ownership of your life.

Life’s experiences are designed to make you stronger. The challenges in your life are specific to you and they are there because you are capable of resolving them. If you ignore them or you sidestep them, they will come again and again until you step up to the plate, own the problem, and find its solution.

Problems are just solutions awaiting your discovery. Your biggest pain will become your greatest growth opportunities and the way for you to make the biggest positive changes. Strong people became strong by facing their problems, accepting ownership of them, digging deeply for the lessons tucked into them, and determining they will find a solution. They turn their problems into new wisdom and unprecedented success.

Author's Bio: 

With over 20 years of experience gained across television, radio and print, Maria Khalifé brings to her clients knowledge and understanding in holistic and motivational living. Maria brings to the world powerful life-changing experiences for those who seek extraordinary lives and want to reach their maximum potential. Maria can help you to uncover your true dynamic self. Please visit http://www.MariaKhalife.com