Our minds and our focus are often dominated by the immediate challenge or obstacle in front of us. On an otherwise normal day, a flat tire, broken nail, or dead cell phone battery can seem like a crisis. Sometimes, it’s good to put things into their proper place. Most things we face are inconveniences, a few are problems, and very rarely we encounter a crisis.
My lasting memory of Barack Obama’s years of public service is his statement, “The only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world.” Too often, we become so busy putting out fires and handling problems that we forget that some of the fires we are putting out are tiny sparks or mere candle flames. Every problem, challenge, inconvenience, or adversity presents us with a choice. We can let it ruin our day, week, month, or even our lives, or we can learn from it, pick ourselves up, and move on.
Some of the greatest wisdom outside of the scriptures comes from Napoleon Hill’s statement, “Every adversity carries with it the seed of a greater benefit.” Sometimes, it’s a matter of looking at a problem and asking yourself how to avoid that in the future. Other times, the problem actually presents us with potential. Opportunities come disguised as problems. Every great invention, achievement, or advance in human endeavor initially sprang from a challenge or a problem.
If you will look at the best achievements or great successes in your own life and mentally trace them back to their origins, you will discover the manifestation of Napoleon Hill’s words in your own life. You’ve heard it said, “That which does not destroy you will make you stronger,” but in addition to making you stronger, it can make you wiser, wealthier, and happier.
As a blind person myself, I’m embarrassed to admit that when I could read with my eyes as you are reading these words in a newspaper, magazine, or online publication, I don’t know that I ever read a whole book cover to cover. Then after losing my sight, I discovered audiobooks and eventually got involved with highspeed listening. Now, thanks to digital technology, I can read an entire book every day. This has been my habit for over 25 years.
Becoming a reader caused me to become a writer which has, thus far, culminated in over 40 books, seven of which have been turned into movies, and over 1,000 of these weekly columns. So in a strange sort of way, my inability to read in a traditional way made me not only a voracious reader but a writer, and now it has come full circle and you are reading these words. I would encourage you to not only overcome your problems and challenges but look for the hidden opportunities and greater benefit within.
As you go through your day today, face your problems, solve them, and look for the greater possibilities ahead.
Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at Jim@JimStovall.com; on Twitter at www.twitter.com/stovallauthor; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor.