Let’s face it. Challenges are a part of everyday life. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, or what you do for a living. You will face problems. As Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” It’s a safe bet you can add dealing with challenges to that list.
The only difference is with challenges we can choose how we deal with difficulties. Over the years, I’ve learned to cope with stress and problems by using a creative formula. I call this formula my “three P’s in a pod.”
- Keep a positive mindset.
- Be open to possibilities.
- Rely on people to help and guide you.
Keep a Positive Mindset
Every year when I was a little girl, my parents, my brothers and I would take a trip to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. As we walked across campus, my parents smiled, and said, “This is where you’re going to college.” Thus, a college degree became my goal. Unfortunately, not everyone agreed.
When I was in the tenth grade I took an aptitude test designed to guide my career choice. Shortly after taking the test, I was called into the school counselor’s office. With test in hand, Miss Roberts inquired about my post-high school plans. I confidently told her that I was going to attend Brigham Young University.
She replied, “I don’t think you’ll make it. You scored 14 out of a possible 100 in English and 98 out of 100 in problem-solving. You simply don’t have the aptitude in English and writing to survive college.”
She then added that because of my problem-solving skills, I might want to consider becoming an auto mechanic.
I decided then and there that I was not going to allow another person to dictate the direction of my life. And, once I graduated high school, I was accepted at Brigham Young University. College required a lot of hard work and it took me five years instead of four to graduate, but I did graduate! Later, I even received my master’s degree.
As, Henry Ford said, “If you believe you can do something you can; if you believe you can’t you’re probably right.”
Be Open to Possibilities
The next “P” stands for possibilities, and it’s something this country is known for. In fact, America is often referred to as the land of opportunities or possibilities. The pilgrims came for religious freedom, and today many come to America in search of new possibilities.
Brian Tracy, a self-help author on leadership and business said, “The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean un-sailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good.”
In 1944, Frederick Smith was born to a wealthy family. But, as the Smith family could tell you, money isn’t everything. Fred’s father died when he was only four years old. He attended Yale University, where he wrote a paper for his economics class suggesting the concept of overnight package delivery. The professor wasn’t impressed, and Fred’s grade suffered. After graduation, Fred joined the U.S. Marine Corps, was assigned to fly in Vietnam, and completed 200 missions.
Fred returned to the United States in 1970, still sold on his idea of overnight mail delivery. In the early 1970s he launched Federal Express, which has been referred to as, “One of the boldest gambles the business world has ever seen.” Packages would be flown to Memphis, Tennessee each night, sorted, flown back out and then driven to their final destination. The first delivery was in 1973 and today, FedEx is a $35 billion global transportation business servicing 220 countries.
William Arthur Ward asserts, “Nothing limits achievement like small thinking; nothing expands possibilities like unleashed imagination.”