Skip to main content

Overcoming Life's Daunting Challenges: Thoughts and a Poem

This article offers sensible advice and a Tanka poem on overcoming challenges in life.

What is life if it is without challenges? Pretty empty, although embracing obstacles fully or tolerating failure is by no means a walk in the park. Life and the environment have conditioned us never to accept a lack of success.

However, in life, a little rain must fall, and obstacles block our paths, often through no fault of ours. While many of these circumstances are beyond our control, there is one thing that is - we can shape, positively and in good form, our attitudes towards them.

My Rainfall: A Life Story

If we were to measure life using snowfall, mine would be a blizzard. And of course, it wouldn't be the only one-everyone faces trials, just in different forms.

I had the dubious blessing of two brain tumours as a young girl, and these blocked my pituitary gland. The result was a lack of physical growth, so I am particularly petite. I have a condition known as Turner's Syndrome, which involves, yes, being unusually small-built. It also means a low metabolism and the constant stress of being a weight-watcher.mnbbbb 6xzc

To top it off, I have adult ADHD, which comes with the usual hyperactivity and lack of short-term memory. I sometimes find it difficult to recall where I put my keys just 5 minutes earlier than when I went searching for them.

This reflection is not a vent; everyone shares a similar life story, just in other forms. And like it or not, struggle as we may, we have to find ways to include these obstacles, as though they are fixtures, in our lives. Everyone has a hill mounded by Providence for them to climb.

overcoming-lifes-daunting-challenges-thoughts-and-a-poem

What ILezned About Challenges

1. Make Contingencies

It is coincidental that I am writing this at the crossroads of life, which are countless. These can be points of discomfort. We want to stay where we are safe; we like to know what is to happen next and to be prepared.

However, life is good at throwing curve balls. While we cannot control the activities or responses of others, we can make plans for ourselves. It always helps, and in fact, is a must to have contingencies which will stand us in good stead.


2 You Are Not Alone

Everyone reaches low points in life, so we are never alone in misfortune. We have every reason to look forward because the person sitting next to us on that bus probably had as bad a day as we did. Terrible days don't play favourites, so everyone gets a fair share of them.

Take heart that you are not alone.

3. Ask for help

Cultures teach us that we should fend for ourselves. Asking for help is a sign of weakness, so many retreats into our little world when trials and tribulations hit.

But we must acknowledge that, in this day and age of global pandemics, we .cannot live in isolated holes. There will be times when we need a neighbour to look after our children or a colleague to cover our duties while we are on medical leave. We may live on islands, but no man is one.

4. List or Mind Map Possible Solutions to the Problem

A lack of clarity sometimes gets in the way when we try to overcome challenges. It's no mean feat to try to climb uphill when we cannot visualize the summit.

5. Beware of the Self-fulfilling Prophecy

According to the Law of Attraction, what we think about manifests itself. So if we think that we are going to have a bad day, guess what - the Bad Day makes his ugly presence felt.

So saying, a positive mindset is vital. if we want a good day, plan to have one. no matter the challenges that come your way.

6. Don't Give Up

Challenges are so termed for a good reason; they are so because they are not mean feats.

They are daunting to face, and persistence is key. Colonel Saunders faced a whopping 272 rejections before his recipe for fried chicken, which made KFC what it is today, finally gained acceptance. The Santa look-alike was homeless and lived out of his car.

I experienced pituitary tumours which caused stunting. I am, of course, below average in height. I also have the dubious blessing of adult ADHD, which can make organisation a challenge and jobs difficult to keep.

We often have no choice but to face issues head-on; it's not that we are Indiana Jones Wannabes. More often than not, we just have to grit our teeth, cross our hurdles and move on.

7. Work Smart

You know how it is-you put tremendous effort into your work, only to find your superior either ignoring it or focusing on another project. Either way, feelings of frustration and hopelessness will set in.

So, how do you handle them effectively? By working smarter and not harder.

There is more than one way to solve problems. Focus on your goals before working towards them; this will help you develop a clearer idea of what you want to achieve. Take note of the skills you have or need to complete tasks.


8. Lend A Hand


One way to overcome our challenges is to help others overcome theirs. This may be draining, as you would like a life jacket yourself.

Think of the aeroplane scenario. We are told to put on our life jackets before doing so for our kids. While this may seem selfish, there is a reason for it. Without you, your kids will struggle should a life jacket scenario surface.

When it comes to helping others, do. It helps you to gain perspective on your troubles. But self-care is vital- the best way to help others is if you have the strength to do so.

How do e battle challenges? This tanka poem has few answers.

The long winding road
Trek that snakes ever uphill
Covered with gold dust
That one only discovers
When one looks hard enough at
The end of the trail.


Poem by Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin