Few reading this article would disagree that life brings on challenges. And, when challenges hit us squarely in the face, we can fold-up and shrivel or we can shore-up and fight. Thus the life we ultimately live is the end result of how we react to those challenges. What we experience from our time on earth is directly tied to the amount of personal leadership we are willing to expend and the choices we make.

Here are six ideas that can be used to help face these challenges and to help make choices that serve us well.

1. Put the event in perspective. Certainly if one loses a job, that’s a traumatic event. But rather than feeling sorry for ourselves, we must resolve to pick up the pieces and move forward, as difficult as that might be. Take a thorough inventory of your skills and abilities. Begin asking such questions as, “What new job market might I move into that is more stable? What skills do I have that transfer into a new occupation? What other options in my field are available? Where can I receive training that might open other job options? Are there jobs similar to the one I had that are open in my area? The idea is to look forward, not backward.

2. Turn on your persistence and desire switches. You worked for months on that high commission sale and it fell through. Such challenges can create inertia that weighs us down and prevents progress. Should we give up and wallow in our self-pity? Not if we gear up the necessary desire and persistence. They’re in us. We just have to pull them out and use them. Persist until you succeed, maintain a desire to win and you’ve taken a giant step towards recovery. Remember every day is a new day with new opportunities. The past is over and the future is not yet reality. Work hard today and your just rewards will come.

3. Make a list of everyone you know that might help. Need help finding a new job? Talk to your friends and ask for help. Want to develop another great sales opportunity? Ask your friends who else might need your product or service. You get the point. The friends and business colleagues that you’ve befriended and supported are willing to help and want to help. Don’t let your PRIDE get in the way. Wouldn’t you do the same for your friends? Then, what makes you think your friends would abandon you in your time of need?

4. Be willing to change your lifestyle. Being overweight can trigger diabetes, high blood pressure and sore knee joints. Smoking and consuming too much alcohol can lead to a myriad of ailments. Common sense should tell you that regulating your diet, maintaining your proper weight, stopping cigarette consumption and only moderately consuming alcohol can be positive life changes. Remember, if you keep on doing the same thing, you’ll continue to experience the same results. Don’t like where you are? CHANGE! That action may save your life.

5. Develop a plan and work your plan. Challenges require thought and proper action steps to overcome. Devise a plan to seek a new job. Review the steps of your failed sales opportunity and change your approach. Create a description of your new lifestyle and institute action steps to make this new direction a reality. Planning on paper is the way to go. Sit down, attack your challenge squarely. Stuck? Ask for help. Make the best plans you are capable of developing and be determined to carry them out. Don’t believe plans work? Just look at your favorite sports teams in action. Winners generally have a detailed plan by which they approach the game. They make adjustments but never stop planning how to achieve victory. In the end, the person with the best plans will win.

6. Call on a higher power. If you think you are fighting your battles alone, you’re wrong. There is an ever present power available to you 24/7. You’ve just got to call on it. There is no greater source of peace than God. He loves us unconditionally and has an unending desire to help. Scripture says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive; he who seeks finds and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Of all the things you can do, having faith and belief in a power higher than you is the greatest step you can take. Ask, Seek and Knock are three great action verbs.

Closing Thoughts

As I reflect on the six points made to help overcome the challenges life places on our journey through this life, I know they work because at one time or another, I’ve used every one of them. Here is a bit of “Lagniappe” on each point.

1. Stepping into reality and facing the truth when things seem chaotic calms our temperament and helps us take a sensible approach as we step out into new directions. Rose colored glasses may make your picture look good but they skew our view of the real color of life. Understand your reality and you instantly improve the opportunity to overcome obstacles.

2. It is easier to give up when struggles get tough but doing so actually makes things tougher in the long term. The tenacity of winners is what makes them win. The craving for success is what makes one succeed. As Winston Churchill said, “Never give up.” Persistence does pay.

3. Sit down and make a list of everyone you know who you feel would be a great resource in a time of need. Next to their name, identify the type of help each individual might extend. Grow the list when new people come into your life. You will be very surprised how much help is available just for the asking. That list may be the difference between a quick recovery or a long-lasting period of stress and worry.

4. The habits we acquire over a lifetime either help or hinder our ability to live a comfortable life. Resolve to rid yourself of potentially destructive habits that can lead to a health crisis or financial ruin. You are in control of your life. Seize and cherish it for the value it is.

5. I have never been part of an enterprise that was extremely well planned and thought out that failed. Unfortunately, I’ve participated in the opposite situation far too often than I care to recall. But, without doubt, I know proper and detailed planning works very well. Plan your life so you remain in control. Otherwise, you are destined to work the plans others have for you.

6. There are lots of examples of how to draw on the higher power in my soon-to-be-released book, Journeying on Holy Ground. It is filled with ideas to help you use spiritual power to create a stronger relationship with our Creator. It shares insights into how you can blanket your family relationships—spousal and children, with the powerful spirit of the almighty. It demonstrates how you can find joy in your career when you incorporate the help of our willing God. And finally, the book contains a number of self-improvement techniques to make you a stronger person by partnering with our Spiritual Leader. Contact me on how you can obtain your copy

Author's Bio: 

Billy Arcement, MEd.,—The Leadership Strategist, is a seasoned professional speaker, author, facilitator and coach. Learn more about his services at his website, www.SearchingForSuccess.com. Call him directly at 225-677-9426. Copyright 2007.