Friday, 4 April 2014


What do you do when you confront a challenging situation in your life?
Do not feel wronged, abandoned and deserted by God in times of difficulties. For, you will always be blessed with a series of brilliant opportunities giftedly disguised as problems and challenges.

“I feel that we are often taken out of our comfort zones, pushed and shoved out of our nests, because if not, we would never know what we could do with our wings, we would never see the horizon and the sun setting on it, we would never know that there's something far better beyond where we are at the moment. It can hurt, but then later you say "thank you." I have been pushed and shoved and have fallen out and away, so very, very, many, many times! And others around me have not! But then, the others haven't seen what I have seen or felt what I have felt or been who I have been, they can't become what I have become. I am me.”
~ C. JoyBell C.

He was returning from school when some students were in a van that caught fire. Hearing shouts for help, he went near and saw crowds witnessing the drama helplessly. Everybody nearby was staring at the burning van with kids inside and there was not a soul who moved. Without missing a beat, he moved forward and tried opening the door but the handle broke off. He then broke the window, unlocked the door from inside and pulled the students from the blaze before calling the fire brigade. One extraordinary thing about this incident was that this was a 17-year-old boy who went ahead and helped simultaneously without thinking about the consequences. He is Shubham Santosh Chaudhari recipient of bravery award this year on 65th Republic Day. He wants to become a naval officer and fulfil his father’s dreams. In his own words, “I firmly believe everyone has a good soul – and it’s during times of distress that these souls must act.” This small real-life act about remarkable courage at a young age surely depicts that challenging moments bring out one’s best if encountered with a sense of responsibility and determination.

We often wonder why the gap between non achievers and super achievers is so absurdly wide. Let me do my bit to get this straight. What do you do when you confront a challenging situation in your life? Many times some of us feel like world is coming to an end. We deal with crisis with a blank and baffled look not knowing exactly what to do next similarly to what the crowd did on seeing the van burning. At the max, we could either start cribbing, turn bitter or we could resort to various escapes. On the other hand, there are also those who rise manifold without getting rattled by difficulties in life. And if life pushes them hard against the wall, they strongly strike back. Even though unfavorable circumstances pull them down, they hold their head high, stand up and move forward. And the world often feels blown away by their exceptional success stories. If you look into the lives of all those high fliers who stumped the world with their outstanding attainments and accolades, you’ll find one thing in common. And that one common thing is presence of challenges in their life. No great accomplisher has had shock-proof-fail-safe life ever. In fact, difficulties in our life push us to raise the bar of our game at each step of the way.
No great accomplisher has had 'shock-proof-fail-safe' life ever.
Charles was a cook and Lee-lee was a housekeeper. They were very poor and lived in Hong Kong. They became parents of a baby boy on April 7th, 1954. The baby weighed just 12 pounds when he was born and his mother required surgery to deliver him. Charles borrowed money from friends to pay for the operation, turning down the doctor’s offer to take the child in payment. Later on, this boy attended the Nah-Hwa Primary School on Hong Kong Island, where he failed his first year, after which his parents withdrew him from the school. He used to spend his travel money on food and went to home by walk. He was not academically bright, and his parents decided to enroll him, now 7, at China Drama Academy. Students at the school were severely disciplined and were beaten if they disobeyed or made mistakes. It was a very harsh and difficult life but he had nowhere else to go, so he stayed. He rarely saw his parents for many years and trained rigorously for the next decade, excelling in martial arts and acrobatics. Unfortunately the Chinese opera was no longer very popular, so he and his classmates had to find other work. The only work available to them was unskilled labour or stunt work. He started working as a stuntman and an extra in the Hong Kong film industry. Soon he was in demand and was on his way to Hong Kong Movie Industry. He brought humour to martial arts movies; his first success was “Snake in Eagle’s Shadow.” This was followed by “Drunken Master” (another blockbuster) and his first ever directing job, “Fearless Hyena.” All were big hits. And finally, after nearly 40 years in the business, he has reached worldwide stardom and today people know him as ‘Jackie Chan.’

 “Embrace each challenge in your life as an opportunity for self-transformation.”
~ Bernie S. Siegel

Our real life begins outside our comfort zone and these are only the challenges which propel us to move out of our shell. Challenges help us realize our hidden potential. Challenges suffice to our ‘spirit of adventure’. I make you a bet, and I’m pretty sure that I’ll win the bet. I bet you life would just be an uninteresting straight-line; nothing more than that, without any challenge. Life turns into an exciting rollercoaster ride due to the presence of challenging moments. Challenges make your life interesting and overcoming them makes your life meaningful. We feel a level up and a step further every time we overcome a challenge,. Determination, ability to take risks, will power, presence of mind, self belief and many more positive attributes surface whenever we find ourselves in challenging circumstances. Perhaps that’s the reason why almost all heroes in our movies face challenges more often than not in different forms and features and demonstrate their heroic qualities. If we take away all those action packed fights and clashes from these movies, we would have no adrenaline rush in watching them. Study says that the presence of challenges in one’s life trigger huge behavioural changes in one’s overall personality. And if taken positively, it can light a spark in you and you can even outshine others in your field.

“Every challenge is a chance to become a champion.”
~ Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

"I was just getting by, and trying."
Douglas Engelbart was born in 1925, in Oregon, where he grew up on a small farm. When he was 9, his father died. In 1942, he graduated high school and went to Oregon State University to study electrical engineering. His studies were interrupted by WWII. He joined the Navy and spent two years in Philippines as a radar technician. While stationed in Philippines he read Vannevar Bush's "As We may Think", which greatly influenced him. He returned to College and completed his engineering in 1948. In December 1950, when he was engaged to be married, he realized he had no career goals. Over several months he challenged himself if he could make this world a better place and if his career could maximize his contribution to the mankind. This was, of course, well before the Internet or World Wide Web came into existence. As he avers himself, “Growing up without a father, through the teenage years and such, I was always sort of different...Other people knew what they were doing, and had good guidance, and had enough money to do it. I was just getting by, and trying.” And you know what? He is the same man who is best known for inventing the computer mouse.

“No one is without troubles, without personal hardships and genuine challenges. That fact may not be obvious because most people don't advertise their woes and heartaches.  But nobody, not even the purest heart, escapes life without suffering battle scars.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich

It’s true that everybody faces challenges in his or her life. It’s a marriage of your determination and your confrontation with life that brings about the birth of a winner in you. Personally speaking, if anybody asks me how has the ride been so far? I would say that it was never smooth and straight. Without the challenges that I have faced, I may not be where I am at all (and in all humbleness, I do acknowledge that there are miles to go before I sleep). I firmly believe that life is either a daring voyage or nothing at all. Challenges are to test our character and help us grow. Difficulties reinforce our resolve, as labor does the body. Embarking upon challenges won't shrink your muscles, it'll strengthen them. After having won each challenge that confronted us, we are wiser and stronger. Life's challenges are the stepping stones to ever greater things. Sometimes the most intricate challenges are the most important lessons; and they hold the greatest gems of insight and improvement. Mind you, a challenge only becomes a barrier when you bow to it. So do not feel wronged, abandoned and deserted by God in times of difficulties. For, you will always be blessed with a series of brilliant opportunities giftedly disguised as problems and challenges.

Yes, you too can achieve greater heights and I challenge you! Are you up for the challenge?

If you really liked this blog post and wish to share your experiences/ remarks/ views with me, you are most welcome. Write to me at

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