Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Keep believing in yourself and your abilities.

Although problems appear to be burdens to us in our lives, they are actually opportunities for growth. In the long run, we really should welcome problems and frustrations for only out of the solutions do we find real growth and happiness.

It’s very hard to put into practice. I know. It’s hard to have a hectic day with two or three major things going wrong and to say to yourself “This is a great chance for me to grow!” Blah!! Now you sound like one of those ‘sunshine’ people who always see the good side of life. Well, you know they are probably right even though most of us would rather not admit it. 

A lot of us even make a life out of avoiding work commitments, stress, almost anything that might “initially” be painful. Have you ever had a job where you worked twice as hard at looking busy as you would’ve if you just actually did something? Sounds funny but I know a lot of folks who have.  Myself included. But after a while, we find ourselves in “No-wheres-ville”, doing nothing with a bunch of other nobodies who are doing nothing too. And before you know it, your life is just a bunch of coulda, woulda, shoulda ...... 

Sooner or later, we all must take the initiative and try to confront the problem. Face a little pain and find out you actually can live through it. It becomes a habit after a while. They say successful people all have one thing in common. They are willing to do what the average person is not. They are willing to take a risk, try to solve a problem or face a difficult decision. And they don’t give in to fear. 

In the book "Attitude is Everything" by Jeff Keller, he states that there are seven ways in which Adversity can serve us, they are:                                                   

1. Adversity gives us perspective. Once you've recovered from a life-threatening illness, a flat tire or a leaky roof doesn't seem  so  troubling anymore. You're able to rise above the petty annoyances of daily living and focus your attention on the truly important things in your life.     

2. Adversity teaches us to be grateful. Through problems and difficulties, especially those which involve loss or deprivation, you develop a deeper  appreciation for many aspects of our life. It's trite but true, you don't usually appreciate something until it's taken away from you. When  you  have no hot water, you suddenly value hot water. Not until you're sick do you cherish good health. The wise person continues to dwell on blessings, even after the period of loss or deprivation  has passed. Remember,   we're always   moving in the direction of our dominant thoughts; therefore, concentrating on what you  have to be grateful for brings even more  good things into your life.  

3. Adversity brings out our hidden potential. After surviving a difficult ordeal or overcoming an obstacle, you emerge emotionally  stronger. Life has tested you and  you were equal to  the task. Then, when the next hurdle appears, you're better  equipped to handle it. Problems and  challenges bring out the best within us we discover abilities we ever knew we possessed. Many of us would never have discovered these talents if life hadn't made us travel over  some bumpy ground. Adversity reveals to you your own strengths and capacities, and beckons you  to develop those qualities even further. 

4. Adversity encourages us to make changes and take action. Most  people cling to  old, familiar patterns regardless of how   boring or painful their lives have  become. It often takes a crisis or a series of difficulties to motivate them to make adjustments. Problems are often life's way of letting you  know that you're off course and need to take corrective action. 

5. Adversity teaches us valuable lessons. Take the example of a failed business venture: The entrepreneur may learn  something that enables him or her to succeed spectacularly on the next venture. 

6. Adversity opens a new  door. A relationship terminates and you go on to a more satisfying relationship. You lose your job and find a better one. In these instances, the "problem" is not a problem at all, but rather an opportunity in disguise. One door in your life has been shut, but there is a better one waiting to be opened.

7. Adversity builds confidence and self-esteem. When you muster all of your courage and determination to overcome  an obstacle, you feel competent and gain confidence. You have a greater feeling of self-worth and you carry these positive feelings into subsequent activities.

Obstacles are the greatest blessings God can give you. They bring out the soul of you. They bring the Infinite Power within you to your help. And anything which acquaints you with the Spirit within you, anything that gives you understanding of the infinite power that lies within you, anything that brings the Holy Spirit into your daily affairs, is worth while no matter what it’s cost.

The Bible states that "when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." (James 1: 2 - 4)

Although problems appear to be burdens to us in our lives, they are actually opportunities for growth. In the long run, we really should welcome problems and frustrations for only out of the solutions do we find real growth and happiness.

I’ll leave you with this little story I remember from a while ago. In ancient times a King had a boulder placed on a roadway then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the King’s wealthiest merchants came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear but did nothing about removing the stone from the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant put down his load and tried to move the stone. After much pushing and straining he finally succeeded. After he picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse laying on the road where the stone had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who moved the stone from the roadway. The peasant learned what many others never understood. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one’s condition.

So, the next time you suffer a problem or setback in your life don't get discouraged or give up. Don't let problems cloud your attitude window forever. Clear off that cloudy window. You find, after the dust settles, that you can actually see better than you did before. Just remember the words of Napoleon Hill: "Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit". 

Till the next time