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Surviving Challenges

The dictionary meaning of challenge says, “a competitive situation or fight which decides who is superior or who win”.  But then we have life challenges that are unique.  We play both the doer and the receiver here.

We are using here the term challenges as a synonym for what we usually call as problems, issues, setbacks, hiccups, etc.  Root cause of situations we face may be numerous - like relationships, partners, business, colleagues, neighbours, friends, relatives, money etc.  At the end of the day, it is we that fight with ourselves to overcome them.  Hence the definition of a challenge here is modified as “a self-battle and sustenance in times of competitive situations”.  


It is the nature of challenges we face decide the course of our life.  Some may have it easy, some difficult and some even worse.  But everybody come out of them eventually. The process of enduring the challenges needs to be positive and self-transformative.  Inability to tackle the situation not only ruptures the very life energies but also diverts the course of future to a totally different path.  Failure to treat these situations as a part of life results in a debilitating personality.

Let us look at how to deal with life situations:

Every living being on earth faces challenges of its own. A tiny insect may find it challenging to procure food, a kid may find it hard to learn alphabets, while a CEO of a company struggles to keep it afloat.  We cannot demean these struggles based on the age of the subject or the nature of challenge.  It is entirely dependent of individual sensitivities and their perspective of the situation.  For someone with a strong mental disposition who is happy go lucky, huge problems may be a matter of just one more day to deal with, while an emotionally fragile person crashes his entire life coping up with that one challenge.



For the convenience of the subject, let us divide challenges into three types.  Serious, tough and common challenges. Common challenges do not mean less in any way, they are literally common.  We are not attempting here to provide any tips for first two types, only guidance is given below.  Let us concentrate on dealing with the third type, the common challenges.



These are challenges which have direct implications.

  1. If a challenge is encouraging, like succeeding in newly established business, passing an examination, embarking on a new chapter of life, travelling to a new place, etc., remember, awareness and positive outlook go a long way.  As a famous saying goes, there are no shortcuts and there will not be any.  Hard work and perseverance with a confident yet humble attitude will lead you to success.

  2. Financial, social and compliance challenges or any other disputes that have serious consequences need support from legal system, related statutory bodies and advice from experts. They are not something you overcome with just a positive mindset. Follow appropriate procedures in such cases.  Remember, rules and procedures are to protect and not to be scared of.

  3. Health care challenges are major cause of declining motivation and interest in life.  They should be addressed by appropriate health care professionals.



These are individual specific.  Also, available resources as well as solutions may be different from case to case.

  1. The first and foremost step is to realize that you are not alone.  There is a reason why many countries focus on support groups, helping the people understand that they have someone to look up to, someone to share their heart out, and most importantly someone to listen to their problems.

  2. If you do not wish to be in support groups or if they are not available, you can always bank on elders in the house who hold years of wisdom, that trust worthy friend who does not judge you, your spouse or sibling that understands you, etc.  It is very important to let out emotions and not pile up.  This will have a long-term effect on body and mind.

  3. If anybody you know faced a similar situation and succeeded out of it, seek guidance from them.  Adapt the useful traits that helped them to suit your case. Do not follow them blindly.

  4. If you are uncomfortable to sharing with a known person, inculcate the habit of journaling [refer to article ART OF JOURNALING in Life Skills on this website]. Sketch out the progression of the challenge, identify the patterns, if any, find alternative solutions and overcome the hurdle.

  5. If the situation is a little more stressing, approach a counsellor who can provide you the proper ways to deal with the challenge.



The common issues that every person deals with at some points of time are like loss of a dear one, failure to achieve, betrayal, loss of trust, incompetence, work-life balancing, stress management, time management, self-discipline, etc.

  1. Gain awareness about the challenge.  Explore, search and collect possible data.

  2. Establish routines and stick to them religiously.

  3. Compartmentalize issues on hand.  Spend a fixed time to work towards confronting issues.

  4. Do not ruin your peace of mind and that of family members, brooding over the issue.

  5. Do not give the problem ‘the power of thought’. The more you think the more it intensifies.  Instead dilute the severity in mind.

  6. Bring in sense of stability and not doomsday attitude.  As we know, world never ends in a day.

  7. Channelize energies into constructive hobbies.

  8. Do not stop working.  No problem should be a hindrance to our daily work.  Pausing daily activities will lead to anxiety and depression.

  9. Choose any art form like music, painting, playing an instrument, dance, etc to bring in new hope.  Art is proven to heal.

  10. Seek help either personal or professional (therapies and counselling) when required. Asking help only enables others to embrace you but not look down on.

  11. Learn proven tools such as yoga, meditation, chanting of sacred hymns or anything that may suit your spiritual interests.  Since we are not omni-potent, we cannot solve every problem by ourselves.  Seeking higher power may not solve the crisis but builds up inner strength.

  12. Spend time every single day in reading and writing.  Go for a good book with a nice coffee.

  13. Keep up your appearance healthy.  This helps in moving on.  Depriving ourselves of food and other necessities will only worsen the problem.

  14. Travel to new places and meet new people if possible.  Listening to new experiences may help us realize our blessings.

  15. Help others in whichever way possible.  Running an errand for family, teaching the nearest kin in class subjects, financially helping a known friend, etc may bring in positive energy to heal from within. This makes us gain sense of control.  


“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. The best is yet to come.”- Zig-Ziglar

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