Question 1: Which is easier to accomplish: to make the world adjust to my particular needs or for me to adjust to the world as it is today?

Singer/songwriter Lauryn Hill wrote, “That strong mother doesn’t tell her cub, Son, stay weak so the wolves can get you. She says, Toughen up, this is reality we are living in.”* The very first question you need to ask yourself when thinking about your own personal success has to do with the reality you are living in.

As a young man I took my family to Africa. When we arrived we had no place to live but a grass hut in the back yard of another missionary’s house. There was nothing wrong with the grass hut, but there was something wrong with us being dependent on the other family for food and shelter.

The problem I faced was a severe housing shortage in the capital city of this central African nation. To find a safe and affordable place to live in a strange country and city was an overwhelming task. I had a choice: to keep my family in this miserable living situation and wait until the housing shortage let up – something that could take years – or work hard, be creative and find a solution.

The world was not going to adjust to my needs. I had to adjust to this part of the world as it was at the time. And though I don’t have time to tell you the whole story, suffice it to say we found a way to get ourselves into a more comfortable living situation despite the housing shortage.

What is your situation? What is the reality of the world you live in? Chances are it is a combination of problems and possibilities. The problems before you will not solve themselves and the possibilities will not be advantaged without effort on your part.

You need to look closely at your situation and determine not to be a part of the problem but to be a problem solver. You are not just a human potted plant or one of those big rocks landscapers place in your yard to make it look nice. You are a real person with real potential and high value. You have something to offer the world that no one else has.

But that world, your world, your sphere of influence, will not suddenly transform itself into what you want it to be. You are required to adjust to the realities of your life or you will become a victim of your own circumstances.

Here is the important lesson: You are designed to grow, to learn, and to improve your lot in life no matter how bad your present reality is. You are not to be like everyone else; you are not to be a victim of your circumstances. You are to be fully and uniquely you.

What action can you take today to make your life in this rapidly changing world happy and fulfilling? The answers are within you and they will astound you! When applied, they will bring you your bright new future.

Take the songwriter’s advice: Toughen up, son and daughter; this is the reality you are living in.

(Eventually all five questions and their answers will be posted at


Author's Bio: 

Dr. Ron Ross (B.A., M.Div., D.Th.), author/speaker/publisher.For more from Dr. Ross please visit his site: