One of my key takeaways from the audiobook The Ultimate Anti-Career Guide by Rick Jarow is reframing your problems as advantages. Similarly, you can also reframe your challenges as opportunities.
What’s the advantage of having a particular problem?
Which opportunity is hidden in a specific challenge?
Which benefits does your issue have?
Let me give you an example so that you can see how you can apply the idea in practice.
Here’s a problem I have with my writing. Whenever an idea pops up in my mind or whenever I come across a brilliant idea, I jot it down in Evernote.
When I’m about to write a blog post, I go over my notes and pick a few ideas. When I finish the blog post, I realize that I haven’t used all the ideas in the post.
Moreover, new ideas about the same topic keep coming after publishing the post. As a result, I’m not able to cover all of my ideas on a subject in blog posts. Some loose ideas always remain in my Evernote.
That used to bother me because I wanted to publish all of my ideas about a topic, delete them from my Evernote, and move on to the next subject. I perceived that as a problem.
I realized that what I saw as a problem wasn’t a problem at all but an opportunity in disguise. I could reframe my blog posts as previews of my ideas, and cover those subjects thoroughly in books. That’s what I plan to do now.
A situation that I perceived to be a problem was, in reality, an opportunity to take my writing to the next level.
Having Challenges Is a Privilege
If you’re a human, I guarantee you that you’ll experience a challenge sooner or later in your life. It’s better to experience them on a small scale when you’re young and full of energy.
If you’re young and going through some sort of hardship like financial scarcity, embrace and appreciate your challenge.
You’re in a much better position than a person who has to deal with bankruptcy when they are 50 years old. You can learn how to deal with that challenge while you still have the energy to deal with it.
And if your life is smooth sailing right now, take on a challenge now, and go after it. If you don’t choose your own challenges, they choose you. There’s no way of running away from them. Deal with your challenges before they arise.
After all, a life without any challenges would be boring, wouldn’t it?
Each problem has its advantages. Each challenge has an opportunity hidden in it. Each issue also has its benefits. It’s up to you to find those advantages, opportunities, and benefits, and to capitalize on them.
And if you don’t have any challenges in your life right now, find one and deal with it. Otherwise, they’ll find you later in life, and it’ll be nastier.
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.