Opportunity or Difficulty?


A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. – Winston Churchill

Being one of the most widely known and admired Brit in history, Winston Churchill’s words carry much weight among many. Which is why he is so often quoted.

The admiration and fame that we know of Churchill now, however, came from years of his leadership during a time of great worldwide peril and war. And Churchill consistently reacted to the times with the poise of an optimist and an opportunist. Both, of which are often an intentional choice of perspective and stance. Churchill was also given the opportunity to develop this perspective at a young age, as he lived with a speech impediment his whole life.

Victimized or Optimized?

It seems some of the most inspiring stories, are the ones that hold these sort of narratives. Conflict, enemies, physical ailments…. For Churchill, it was the stutter, the lisp, the boarding school he hated, and the wars that filled his years of leading Great Britain.

We read that and potentially detach ourselves from the story because it has different hurdles than our own.

However, we all have our own opportunities to test what we’re made of, which allows us to respond with the ability to optimize the experience, rather than wallow in a victim-mindset that leaves us feeling defeated and deflated.

It’s almost as if what seems to be a negative experience, offers us a boost of energy, and it is either used for good, or it brings us and those around us down.

In a similar vein, you may have heard this before, but the word “crisis” in the Chinese language is comprised of two characters side by side that either can mean “danger” or “opportunity.”

The Bottom Line.

Time is short, and so is life. We are only given a certain amount of experiences, and each one we must decide how we will respond. How we will make sense of, and leverage, the situation we’re faced with. I know we hear these inspirational ideas often, but are they showing up in our every day “difficulties” and “crises”?

When the emails that arrive saying a client has decided to shift directions, are we responding with a perspective that sees it as an opportunity to extend grace and ease?

When sickness takes over our household, and everyone is house bound, are we able to see the opportunity of spending some quality time with our kids and loved ones, even in the midst of runny noses and bottles of Benadryl?

When the promotion we were hoping for is given to someone else, are we seeing it as an opportunity to sincerely congratulate and encourage our colleagues, and also deciding to excel even more in our current position?

When faced with the circumstances that demand a perspective one way or the other, let us not choose defeat, but rather choose to see the beauty of opportunity. 





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