Successful people see problems as opportunities to grow

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.”

When there is a problem in your life, do you embrace the opportunity to take on the problem or do you allow it to stand between you and your life goals?

Sure, it is easy to run from your problems.  It is also easy to use your problems as excuses for your lot in life. 

The successful person does not run from his or her problems, nor does he or she allow problems to be excuses.  The successful person views a problem not as a problem – but as an opportunity to grow.

Many problems that successful people overcome do not just appear out of thin air, instead the problem is created by the person as he or she is seeking to be successful in life.

When I lived in California, I wanted to travel from my home to Sacramento.  At the time, my only disability that stood between me and Sacramento was my vision that prevented me from acquiring a driver’s license.

The simple solution would have been to have someone drive me there and bring me home, but I wanted to be independent of others – just like most everyone else that was my age. 

I started to research transportation options that could get me up to the state capitol.  Greyhound was an option, but after a few bad experiences on Greyhound, that was not the way I wanted to travel. 

A little research on the emerging Internet at the time allowed me to discover Amtrak could get me there and back.  There was only one problem – Amtrak did not stop in my town, it stopped in a neighboring community that was not accessible from my cities bus system.

That new problem did not stop me.  A little further research pointed me to the county bus system that would take me from my home to the Amtrak station. 

I mapped out what time I needed to catch the bus near my apartment, when and where I needed to be to catch the county bus that would get me to Amtrak in time to catch my train. 

A few years later, after surviving an ischemic stroke to my spinal cord and needing a scooter to get around, I wanted to travel to and from Sacramento again on my own.

Fortunately for me, since my last trip to the capitol, Amtrak had built a station in my town.  I was able to board a bus outside of my apartment to travel to the train station.

Unfortunately, the previous trip to Sacramento on Amtrak included transferring from a train to an Amtrak bus in Stockton before arriving in Sacramento.  The bus did not have a lift for my scooter, and I would need to be carried on by the driver and my scooter stored as luggage.  That was unacceptable to me on many levels and a problem that stood between myself and my goal.

Fortunately for me, I discovered that once a day there was a train that went from my train station directly to Sacramento without having to transfer to a bus.  With this information in my hands, I carefully mapped out my trip and back and within a few days I successfully completed my travel to and from Sacramento.

Every time I have looked at a problem and wrestled with it until I found a solution, I felt empowered and prepared for the next problem that would come my way in life.  Overcoming the problems that at first stood between myself and Visiting Sacramento, gave me the confidence to embrace bigger problems which has helped me, and continues to help me, build the successful life I dream of every night.