Overcoming Adversity

avoiding problems

“Dad, I don’t know how to do it. It’s too hard.”

Sitting at the kitchen table attempting to help my oldest son work on a math assignment was like continuously slapping Ronda Rousey trying to start a fight. Situations just like this are always explosive. Ian is a know it all even when he doesn’t know it all and when he doesn’t know it all it gets frustrated because he doesn’t know it all. Are you still with me? In other words, he is frustrated when he doesn’t already know how to do something perfectly. I think he gets it from his mom. (Don’t tell her I said that.)

While battling his latest challenge in the math arena, he sizes up his opponent and immediately runs for the hills. The problem before him is unlike anything he had ever seen before. It didn’t show any signs of being easy. It looked like a sweaty, muscular, and powerful giant equipped to lead him to an early death.

See Also: Stories About Overcoming Adversity

“Ian!” I screamed in a typical I’m up too early on a Saturday adult fashion. “You can’t play the game until you finish your work.”

“It’s too hard.” Ian whines in response.

“Well the longer you take to finish, the less time you are going to have to play. You can take a few minutes to figure it out or you can waste your time and then take a few minutes to figure it out. Don’t waste more time avoiding the problem than it takes to solve it.”

Two hours later, after sitting at the table and doodling on the paper, I come by to check on Ian’s progress.

“I just don’t get it.” he continues to complain.

I look over his shoulder down at the problem located in his book and then stare him in the eye with the sad look of extreme disappointment.


“Yes, it’s too difficult.” Ian fires back quickly.

“Wow! Ian do me a huge favor and…read the directions?”

The problem Ian had been struggling to complete was so simple but he failed to read the instructions. He didn’t have to solve the problem. He only had to identify what type of problem it was. He lost out on two hours for something that only took him two seconds to complete.

From this experience with Ian I learned a valuable lesson about avoiding problems that I could immediately apply. In my career, family, and spiritual life there were some problems that I had been avoiding as well. After watching Ian waste his evening, here are three strong reasons I stopped avoiding my problems. I would suggest you do the same if you want to live a fulfilling life

1. Waste of Time

I could scream over and over again that time is precious and that avoiding problems is a waste of that time. Instead, I want to share with you a snippet I found from in the book “Today Matters,” by John C. Maxwell that changed my perspective on the value of time:

To know the value of one year … ask the student who failed the final exam.
To know the value of one month … ask the mother of a premature baby.
To know the value of one week… ask the editor of a weekly newsmagazine.
To know the value of one day…ask the wage earner who has six children.
To know the value of one hour…ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To know the value of one minute… ask the person who missed the plane.
To know the value of one second… ask the person who survived the accident.
To know the value of one millisecond… ask the Olympic silver medalist.

Every time you waste a moment avoiding your problems is time that could be spent doing something that really matters. Don’t continue to squander your time avoiding something you are going to have to do anyway.

2. Stops/Slows Progress

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over.” John Wooden

I can’t move forward to step three if I completely avoid step one. For example, attempting to get your financial life in order is done through a process. This process includes creating a budget, paying off debt, saving, and planning for retirement in some variation. If you want to save money for a future major purchase like a home or a car, it might be beneficial to start by making sure you spend less than you earn. Spending every dime you have and living check to check is not going to help you save. You will not make any progress on your saving goal if you don’t have any money to save.

If you want to make progress, you have to stop avoiding your problems. It is stopping you from moving forward.

3. Solutions Are Often Easier Than You Expect

“Better than three hours too soon than a minute to late.” William Shakesphere

After waiting two hours, Ian’s problem took him two seconds to complete. I can relate and say I have had experiences just like that. For three weeks I put off making a call I was terrified of. In my head this conversation would be a brutal life altering argument where at the end a relationship would be shattered and a rift in the time space continuum would cause the end of the world. You see how dramatic I am?

When I made the call, it was not nearly as bad as I imagined. It was pleasant, encouraging, and positively influential in my life. Every experience may not turn out positive like this one but most of them are not as cataclysmic as we imagine in our heads.

See Also: When The Smoke Clears

Ian lost two hours avoiding a problem. Over a lifetime how much time have you wasted avoiding your problems? The way to get the life you want, you have to stop trying to avoid your problems but instead go through them. Don’t waste your time, stop your progress, or imagine a doomsday scenario in your head related to a situation you must go through to be our best.

The fastest distance between two points is a straight line right through your problems. Today, I challenge you to live courageously.

“You can either get results or you can make excuses. Only one of them will bring about change. Choose wisely.”

The Excuses That Will Hold You Back

“I don’t know what to do.”
“I don’t know the right people.”no excuses
“I haven’t made the right connections.”
“I don’t have the necessary skills.”
“If only I had the money.”
“If only someone would help me.”
“If I had more time.”
“I wish someone would give me a chance.”

Are You Addicted to Excuses?

These were the very words that came continuously out of my mouth for a period of five years as I sat around miserable feeling like a wild bird trapped in a cage that would limit me to an unfulfilled mediocre existence. Statements like this generally came after I made a forward looking claim that I wanted more for myself and my future, but instead I did more talking about why I couldn’t than acting on what I could. I was more interested with telling anyone who would listen my problems instead of taking actions that would bring me closer to solutions. I became addicted to excuses.

Each day that went by, I found myself searching for my next fix. I desperately needed something to take away the pain of reality. This was the reality I had created from series of decisions strung together over a lifetime. Instead of personal ownership, I snorted blame for a temporary high. Instead of doing the challenging task that would lead to progress, I shot up with reasons why I couldn’t be what I knew I could. Excuses were easy. They provided comfort in a uncomfortable situation. However, like a marathon runner jogging in place, my heart rate was up but I wasn’t making any progress. Continue reading “No More Excuses: Go Get The Life You Want” »


That simple two letter word packs a lot of power and has killed a lot of dreams. Yet, in spite of the pain it may cause, it is a very useful word in the English language. Useful in a sense that it will sometimes force you out of your comfort zone and cause you to do something you never would have imagined was possible. It also has the power to stop you in your tracks and limit your ability to move forward with your life.

How we respond to this very word is dependent upon our personality. If this is a word that you rarely hear due to your super model looks and charm, your response to it may be different from the frog that has not yet been kissed to transform into a prince. He has had to hear no once or twice trying to convince the ladies that he is prince charming in disguise. Regardless of who you are, this word packs a punch and I am going to teach you how to take it.

Why Learning to Deal with Disappointment is Important?

It’s simple. No, is a part of everyone’s life. However it does not have to be the period at the end of the grand sentence of your life. Instead I like to look at it like a comma. It is there to cause you to pause, reflect and re-adjust. What I see most people do is stop. Do you know how hard it is to build momentum from a stopped object? Imagine yourself pushing an object from a stopped position. Now, imagine moving an object that is already in motion. Which face was uglier in your imagination? I bet it was the stopped position one. I imagine there were a lot of veins, sweat and puffy checks but it doesn’t have to be this way.

The word no does not have to be a momentum killer. Instead it can be ax sharpening moment. Please don’t’ make me have to share the wood chopping analogy. If you don’t know it email me and I will give you all the details. To help you deal with the disappointment that this word may bring, I have included three tips that have been monumental for me in pursuit to overcome my disappointments. Continue reading “Dealing With Disappointment in Three Easy Ways” »

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